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He was ready to return to a life of crime. Dave's Killer Bread offered an alternative.

"It's the people who have been given that second chance who work all that much harder to make something of it."

He was ready to return to a life of crime. Dave's Killer Bread offered an alternative.
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Dave's Killer Bread

Andre Eddings’ life was beginning to look dire.

After being caught and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, Eddings was in jail with a felony record. “I remember thinking to myself, 'I’m a failure now,'” he says. “I will never amount to anything. I’m just throwing my life away.”

As a kid, Eddings had shown a lot of promise. Growing up with parents who struggled to get by, he was dedicated to creating a life for himself. “I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted to become successful. I wanted a good job making a livable wage,” he says.


Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

He kept a 3.8 GPA through high school, then continued to perform well academically as he went on to college and played football. So what happened? Watch:

It was only after a football injury that things went awry.

“The doctor basically gave me an ultimatum,” he says. “Keep playing and potentially injure myself for the rest of my life, or give it up and save my body.”

Eddings chose to give up his athletic career and ended up dropping out of college and moving home to work.

With no degree and stuck in a dead-end job, Eddings looked to others to find a path toward what he considered success. It didn’t take long for him to start dealing drugs — and to get caught.

When he got out of jail, Eddings wanted nothing more than a path back onto the straight and narrow.

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

But with a felony on his record, that seemed impossible.

“I went to multiple interviews where I’d interview pretty well and they’d offer me the position,” he says. But once employers discovered his record, the job offers would disappear.

With few employment options and his restitution and court fees piling up, Eddings felt backed into a corner. “I was going to go back to selling drugs,” he says. What he really wanted was a solid job making an honest day’s work, but with his past preventing him from moving forward, he felt he had no choice.

That’s when he got a call that changed everything.

"I wouldn’t give up quite yet," said an encouraging friend who knew a better way.

Dave’s Killer Bread, an organic bakery in Milwaukie, Oregon, doesn't disqualify candidates based on their criminal backgrounds.

Eddings happily took a position low on the totem pole, eager to forge a path forward for himself. “I was nervous. I was a little scared. I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d never worked in production before, let alone a bakery,” he says.

He needn’t have worried: It clicked right away.

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

Two and a half years later, he's risen through the ranks and is a production assistant supervisor with aspirations to continue working his way up the company.

"My life has made a complete 180-degree turnaround," he says.

"Now I have two beautiful children, I’m engaged, I’m renting a house with the hopes of buying a house here in the future." He's also a mentor to other employees with similar backgrounds at Dave's Killer Bread.

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

"I help other people coming into the company who have similar backgrounds to me, you know, talking to them, letting them know it can be done if you want it," he says. "With this company here, you can make something of yourself."

Dave's believes so strongly in the power of second chances because Dave himself co-founded the business after finishing a prison stint.

"The only reason employers don’t want to take on people with a background or who are convicted felons is solely out of fear," Eddings says.

For him, it's worth the risk. "You never know what you can get out of a person who is ready to make the change, wants to do better for themselves, wants to become somebody."

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

The hiring policy at Dave's isn't just informed by kindness — it's also good business strategy.

"In a tight job market, where motivated and engaged employees are hard to find, we have found that individuals who are given a second chance are highly appreciative of the opportunity given to them and are eager to learn and grow professionally," says Gretchen Peterson, the director of human resources at DKB.

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

"The second-chance partners we employ come to work grateful and happy to have a job every day — what employer doesn’t want to see that in their workforce?" she says.

If more companies hired like Dave's Killer Bread does, one desperate history after the next wouldn't have to repeat itself.

Peterson says she thinks H.R. professionals sometimes fool themselves into thinking they are getting a "better quality" candidate through the background check process.

"In my experience, there are just as many people with no background who end up being terminated for theft or fraud. In fact, it's the people who have been given that second chance who work all that much harder to make something of it."

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

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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.

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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.