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He uses a wheelchair, and so does this TV character. That matters more than you think.

'Julie's Greenroom' is a magical children's show with an inclusive message.

He uses a wheelchair, and so does this TV character. That matters more than you think.

If you had to describe the target audience of Julie Andrews' latest TV show as a single person, it'd probably be someone who looks a lot like Luca, a 2-year-old boy from Virginia.

The show, a Netflix original called "Julie's Greenroom," has everything a curious-minded youngster could want: puppets, laughs, songs, and Mary Poppins herself. It's no wonder that Luca and his mom, Stephanie, have been enjoying the show since its March 17 premiere.

It's an adorable, delightful show about the wonders of the theater.


But there's one character in particular that Luca and Stephanie have have come to love: Hank, a piano-playing prodigy puppet who happens to use a wheelchair.

Image via Netflix.

Like Hank, Luca also uses a wheelchair.

Luca was born with a condition called spina bifida, and while his wheelchair is just a part of his life, it's a part he doesn't often see in TV shows or movies.

"Julie's Greenroom" changed that for him in an important way.

One of the things Stephanie says she appreciated about "Julie's Greenroom" is that the show doesn't immediately call attention to the fact that Hank uses a wheelchair. Instead, the show "showed the character as just another child with the same abilities and interests," Stephanie explains over email as to why she sees the show as a victory for representation. "All too often it is the physical differences that are noticed before any similarities."

Luca plays with his sister. Photo via Stephanie Rasmon, used with permission.

It's important for children to see themselves in the world, and it's just as important for them to be seen by others.

"I want Luca to know there are other people and even children that use wheelchairs," Stephanie writes. "I don't want a stigma to be associated with having a disability. It is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about — it is part of him and what makes our family a whole."

Image via Netflix.

Disabled characters are often severely underrepresented in media, making "Julie's Greenroom" a huge step in the right direction.

A recent study found that only a tiny fraction of all speaking or named characters in TV and movies were shown with a disability. In the real world, nearly 1 in 5 people report having some form of disability. When it comes to inclusivity and representation, the media just isn't being realistic.

It matters that Luca is able to see himself in shows because it turns out that not seeing positive portrayals of others who look or act like you can result in low self-esteem. And it matters that kids without disabilities see others who aren't like them because seeing those unlike yourself is key to building empathy and social skills. In other words, diversity in the media is a win-win situation for all kids.

Luca teams up with a dinosaur for playtime. Photo via Stephanie Rasmon, used with permission.

"I think the more we talk about differences, the more we will be accepting of others and look beyond their equipment," writes Stephanie.

And there's a lot to see "beyond their equipment." You can check out the adorable trailer for "Julie's Greenroom" below and learn more about how you can support children like Luca at the Spina Bifida Association website.

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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.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


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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.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


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