Funny pictures of kids playing with tampons, condoms, and bras are really about gun safety.

You know how kids are. They'll pretty much play with anything they come across that they find interesting.

Sometimes the things they find are embarrassing but funny.


Things like condoms that look strikingly similar to balloons.

Ad images by Evolve, used with permission.

And tampons and pads. I mean, one turns tiny fingers into talons and the other has adhesive backs. What could be more fun?!

And lingerie. It's colorful, after all.


We definitely can't forget the sex toys. Bright, sword-like, and battery operated, what kid could resist?

I'm willing to bet the farm that there are some fellow parents out there who have a story or two about their kiddos finding any of these items. (I know I'm not alone, whether anyone else will admit it or not!)

But these ads aren't about the funny and sometimes embarrassing things our children discover and appropriate for toys.

Not even close. These were created to make a point.

You know what else might look like an interesting new toy to a child who stumbles upon it?

This:

Photo by iStock.

Yep, that's right. A gun. What makes it any less intriguing to a young child than condoms or sex toys?

The answer is nothing, which is why it's so important to lock up guns to prevent kids from ever getting their hands on them. Storing a gun in a place you don't think kids will find it isn't effective.

Kids are like tiny detective ninjas. They can find anything, particularly when it's not meant for them.

Photo by iStock.

And that's what motivated Evolve, the organization behind these ads, to create them.

The fact is that right now, at this very moment, lots of people own guns. In fact, a recent survey found that about a third of American adults live in a household where one or more guns is present. And that means that plenty of kids live in homes with guns, too.

So don't be distracted: There's no gun control or Second Amendment debate here. We need to talk about how to keep those kids safe — right now, right where they are.

As it says on the Evolve website:

"Yes, there's a raging gun debate out there. But no matter how loud anyone is yelling whatever they're yelling, everyone can agree, we can be safer. Right, responsible gun owner? Right, left-leaning senator? Right, Mom?

We're thinking America can stop shooting itself in the foot. We're thinking everyone can pause the debate for a sec and pay attention to one simple thing: somewhere out there is an unlocked, loaded gun. Don't we all want to reach it before a 3-year-old does?"

Photo by iStock.

Rebecca Bond, one of the founders of Evolve, shared this with me:

"There is a code that parents live by and expect others to uphold as well. To keep children safe. Parents generally expect others to have an even higher code with other people's children. An unsecured gun found by a child is 100% avoidable. ...

Leaving a child around an unsecured firearm is the equivalent of leaving them in a room with a running chainsaw and hoping they make the right choice. ...

We need this discussion to be occurring in homes and among friends and families. Make a choice to buy a gun or not based on your personal choice. Safe handling and securement you do for everyone.



An organization called Project ChildSafe distributes gun lock safety kits across the country. If you have a gun in your home, use their interactive map to find an agency they work with in your state to get a kit to secure it.

While we don't know exactly how many children are involved in accidental shootings each year, one thing is for certain: They happen. "No matter what, we all live with guns and this is everyone's conversation," Bond told me.

We adults can debate gun ownership all day long, but while we're doing it, it's important to make sure guns are secure and don't get in the hands of those curious, creative, oblivious children that we love so much. That's something none of us want them to happen.

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.