Sometimes humans strangers pull together for no reason other than to simply bring joy to another human.

That's what happened when Upworthy shared a request we'd been sent by a reader whose grandmother had fractured a vertebrae. Leslie Agan contacted Upworthy saying that her 90-year-old Grandma Florence needed a little pick-me-up. She had fallen on Christmas morning and fractured a vertebrae in her neck, and was "feeling depressed in rehab after being told she won't be able to go home for several months."


"She is 'all there' mentally, and just celebrated her 90th birthday last May," wrote Agan. "Would it be possible to invite your followers to send her a card/note wishing her a speedy recovery?"

"She is an amazing woman who has a wonderful sense of humor," she added, "is very personable and sweet, but is having a hard year so far."

We felt for Grandma Florence and invited our Instagram followers to help her out.

And help her out they did.

People from all over the world began responding to the Instagram post, saying that they were putting a letter in the mailbox for Florence. Even actress Jennifer Garner responded with a heart and a checkmark.

Grandma Florence has received more than 1,500 cards so far, and they keep on coming. "She has been genuinely overwhelmed and overcome with emotion," Agan says. "She says she wishes she could hug and thank every person who has sent her something. She was feeling so depressed and now she says, 'To receive cards every day - it feels like Christmas! I can't thank everyone enough.'"

Grandma Florence is determined to read every card she gets immediately—but it's not just cards she's received. A reader from Australia sent her a stuffed koala, a couple from New York sent her a Harry Potter book and a picture of their baby, and she even got a card from "Bob the Dog" in England.

She also received handmade notes from an entire classroom of kids. "My grandma cried when she read all of the beautifully hand signed and drawn cards from Classroom 10," says Agan. "Those might've been a favorite."

Agan's mother, Liberta (Florence's daughter who has been helping her with rehab) says, "One thing I've noticed is that people don't just sign the card, they always write a paragraph or two. It's very sweet what these people are doing."

When Upworthy fans are called to show kindness, we're not surprised that they show up in droves and go the extra mile. Taking immediate action to help out a fellow human who is struggling is the most Upworthy thing there is.

"The world is full of negativity, and this outpouring of love reminds me that there really are others who are willing to help someone who is struggling," says Agan. "At the same time, my heart goes out to the elderly that are just left alone in these facilities, forgotten and alone. We really need to let loved ones know that we care, no matter their situation. I'm so thankful that Upworthy has provided the platform to bring my grandma this kind of joy and hope."

And we're so thankful you gave us the opportunity to help.


True
Firefox

This slideshow shows how you can protect your information.

View Slideshow
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less

Most women, at one point or another, have felt some wariness or fear over a strange man in public. Sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's subtle, but when your instincts tell you something isn't right and you're potentially in danger, you listen.

It's an unfortunate reality, but reality nonetheless.

A Twitter thread starting with some advice on helping women out is highlighting how real this is for many of us. User @mxrixm_nk wrote: "If a girl suddenly acts as if she knows you in public and acts like you're friends, go along w[ith] it. She could be in danger."

Other women chimed in with their own personal stories of either being the girl approaching a stranger or being the stranger approached by a girl to fend off a situation with a creepy dude.

Keep Reading Show less