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For months, this girl painted a frightening picture of Aleppo. Today, she's finally safe.

Bana al-Abed is safe, but there are still others who need our help.

For months, this girl painted a frightening picture of Aleppo. Today, she's finally safe.

There's some good news from Aleppo: 7-year-old Bana al-Abed and her family have been safely evacuated out of the Syrian city.

Over the course of the past several months, Bana and her mother Fatemah have live-tweeted the reality of life in a war zone. With more than 340,000 followers, Bana's Twitter account has helped put a face to the horrors facing the city.

Last week, Bana's followers watched as she and her mother tweeted final messages and waited for the end. Their fate uncertain, supporters braced for the worst.


On Monday morning, it was reported that Bana and her family made it out of East Aleppo alive, something she frequently doubted would ever happen.

Bana and Fatemah. Photo by Qasioun News Agency via AP

While Bana's safety will bring comfort to her many fans and supporters, we can't forget those who remain trapped in the conflict.

The Syrian civil war has killed an estimated 470,000 people and left 11 million Syrian citizens displaced. Nearly 500,000 children just like Bana live in portions of Syria under threat, with nearly 100,000 in East Aleppo. What was once their home has been reduced to rubble, a chewed-up battlefield.

With millions of lives hanging in the balance, and the rest of the world so seemingly slow to help, it's easy to feel as though there's nothing you can do on an individual level for those who remain. Luckily, that's not quite the case.

Bana and her brother near their home in October. Photo by Thaer Mohammed/AFP/Getty Images.

There are a number of organizations working to help the people of Aleppo — and they could really use all of our support.

If you're looking for a way to help, you might want to consider making a donation to groups like the White Helmets, Doctors Without Borders, the Syrian American Medical Society, International Rescue Committee, and Save the Children. There's also refugee support organizations like the UN Refugee Agency, Questscope, and the Migrant Offshore Aid Station. Upworthy recently put together an overview of what these organizations do and how you can support them that can be found here.

Even if you're not in a position to financially back these organizations, there are other things you can do to show support for those affected by the crisis. Whether it's something as simple as sharing stories like Bana's and those about other refugees or by organizing or attending protests, these small acts are more than symbolic.

Bana and her brother in October. Photo by Thaer Mohammed/AFP/Getty Images.

Bana has made it out alive, but her struggle is far from over. With all of our help, we can fight back against this atrocity.

No 7-year-old should fear for her life. No 7-year-old should have to stand by while missiles and bombs destroy her home. No 7-year-old should ever be made to feel that the world has forgotten her. Let's not forget the others who still need our help.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
File:Pornhub-logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

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.

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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