Heroes

Her job didn't exist before. Now it's changing her whole town.

Water seems simple enough ... except when you don't have it.

Her job didn't exist before. Now it's changing her whole town.
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TOMS

One of life's most basic needs can be quite the pain.

I know it might be hard to relate to, but it's a big deal: There are 750 million people in the world who lack access to clean water — more than double the population of the United States. That's too many!

It's forcing people to travel long distances (we're talking miles ... on foot) to locate the nearest water supply. And dare I mention the part where they have to carry all the water back home? Talk about a love/hate relationship.


But what if you can turn it into a job?

With support from the European Union, a water supply and sanitation project is in full force in Blantyre, Malawi. Community members (especially women) are being taught how to operate water kiosks, read water meters, and quantify units of water consumed. And they're getting paid for it. Yay, business!

It's a victory in many ways, especially as more communities can use Blantyre's success as an example for their own work.

The benefits are big time.

One employee is happy to share all the best parts.

That last one = yessssss. *Insert happy dance*

Just in time for World Water Day.


And one more thing...

On March 22, 2015, Upworthy, TOMS Roasting Co., and the United Nations partnered for an #UpChat all about accessible water, sanitation, and sustainable solutions.

Click here for a handy recap of the chat.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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