Her church went virtual, but it hasn't stopped La Verne from dressing to the nines every Sunday
via The Root

The pandemic has had a big effect on the country's fashion habits. It's drastically reduced the number of people going out at night and 42% now work full-time from home. The change has been so drastic that one in six dry cleaners has gone out of business during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 era proves that if people don't have to dress up, they don't.

That's why La Verne Ford Wimberly of Tulsa, Oklahoma is such an inspiration.


She's a parishioner at Metropolitan Baptist Church and when Sunday services went online last March, it didn't stop her from dressing to the nines. For 53 Sundays in a row she has dressed in a color-coordinated outfit and, after service, posted a photo of it on Facebook.

"She never skips a beat with the hats, the clothes, and all that beautiful jewelry," Robin Watkins, 54, the church's executive office assistant, told The Washington Post.

Wimberly was always known for her head-turning outfits at Sunday service.

"In the 20 years I've been going to church there, I've always had my little routine that I learned from my mother as a girl," she said. "I'd pick out a nice outfit and hat and lay it out the night before, so that I could be prepared and look presentable."

When COVID hit, she decided wasn't going to let it change how she presents herself to the world.

"I thought, 'Oh, my goodness, I can't sit here looking slouchy in my robe,' " she said. "I didn't want to sit around alone and feel sorry for myself, so I decided, 'You know what? I'm going to dress up anyway.' "

On her first day of virtual church, she got up early to style her hair and put on some lipstick. She then put on her favorite white dress and a sheer ruffled hat. She even put on matching shoes, a detail no one would notice over Zoom.

After she posted a photo on Facebook she was flooded with compliments.

Wimblery has written down her outfits on a calendar so she never repeats the same one twice. The most dramatic piece of her wardrobe has to be her hats and she has plenty of them. "It's safe to say that 50 is a good number for the hats," she confessed.

Her love of fashion was inspired by a school teacher she had growing up. So when she joined the profession after college, she decided to carry on the tradition.

"They'd rub my arm and say, 'Oh, Miss Ford [her maiden name], you look so pretty,' " she recalled. "Pretty soon, I had so many clothes that I started a rotation and color-coding system, so I could keep surprising the kids with my outfits."

Wimberly is known by her fellow parishioners as "Doctor" because she has a doctorate in education. She would go on to be a principal and then a superintendent.

However, from the looks of it, she could have easily made it in the world of fashion, too.

Fashion psychologist Rose Turner from London College says that dressing up even though we don't have to is great self-care during a pandemic.

"When other activities that help us to feel 'like us' – such as hobbies, seeing friends and going to work – are unavailable, getting dressed up may help people to reinforce their sense of self," Turner told the BBC.

"Clothing impacts how people think and behave. Putting on a 'work' outfit might help with motivation and concentration, and wearing something special might help to break the monotony of lockdown, and lift people's mood," she added.

Wimbley's story is a great lesson for everyone to remember. Just because times are hard, doesn't mean you have to look like it.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.