10 things that made us smile this week
University of Utah Hospital/Twitter, @BradBeauregardJ/Twitter

There seems to be a fairly broad consensus that the world is a bit of a dumpster fire at the moment, but that perspective doesn't account for the countless examples of beauty, goodness, and hope we see all around us when we look for them.

If you're looking for reasons to smile, here are ten from this week that'll give you a dose of joy and boost your faith in humanity.

1. A phlebotomist taking a moment to create breathtaking beauty on his work break.

Healthcare workers have had it rough over the past year and a half as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet, through it all, we've seen extraordinary resilience and fortitude to carry on through the challenges. Teva Martinson, a phlebotomist at University of Utah Hospital, creates a moment of artistic beauty during a work break with the help of the lobby pianist, and it's everything.


Read the full story here.

2. Singer Shawn Louisiana nailing a Sam Cooke song at the barbershop.

Sometimes a voice shoots like an arrow straight into your soul, and Shawn Louisiana singing "A Change is Gonna Come" for the clientele at a barbershop is one of those times. So gorgeous. Smooth like butter. Definitely worth a listen.

Read the full story here.

The older guy didn't think I could pull off a Sam Cooke song #achangegonnacome youtu.be


3. A grandpa giving a young woman notes of their time together when she was little.

Aw dang, this is too sweet. This grandpa gave a woman three notebooks filled with stories of each time he hung out with her from ages two to five for her birthday. What a precious, forward-thinking gift.

4. Can we please have all meteorologists get a doggo sidekick?

The pandemic has turned live broadcasts into a family affair and if we keep anything from this era, pet interruptions should be it. A weather report without a dog looking for treats just isn't a weather report anymore. (The dog's name is Storm because of course it is.)

5. This baby loves her mama. And her mama's cheeks, and lips, and eyes, and cheeks, and forehead, and chin, and cheeks....

Hold onto your ovaries if you have them, folks, because this baby gushing with love for her mama and all her mama's body parts is just too precious. "I wuv all of 'em, Mommy."

6. These before and after photos of kids on their first day of school are hilariously real.

These photos say it all, don't they? We totally feel you, kiddos. Sometimes we look like this at the end of a long day, too. Read the full story and see more photos here.

7. Watch this guy surprise drive-up window food workers with big tips.

Food service workers have had a rough go of it during the pandemic, too, so seeing them get a larger-than-expected tip is super sweet. They're all so grateful and humble about it, too. People can be so good.

8. This woman collects food that stores were going to throw away and gives it to people who need it.

It seems like such a simple concept, but someone has to actually make it happen. Fourteen years ago, Claudia Wheeler started to rescue food that was going to go to waste and now runs a foundation that helps that rescued food to get to people experiencing food insecurity. Wonderful, dedicated, inspiring woman.

9. This adorable dalmatian and kitten video because these kinds of videos never, ever get old.

Seriously, even when everything seems like it sucks, a sweet dog-and-cat video can always bring a smile to your face. It's the law or something. How could anyone not smile at this?

10. When all else fails, watch a dog do somersaults with his best friend on a trampoline.

Pretty sure this is the definition of pure joy.

Hope that list lightened your load, friends. Keep on joy-scrolling!

Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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