His grandson needed a kidney. And to save him, he gave his kidney to someone else.
True
SoCal Honda Dealers

Retired judge Howard Broadman helped his grandson get a kidney in the future — and he didn't even need time travel to do it.

He did have to make an incredibly generous move, though.

Three years ago, he donated one of his kidneys — not to his beloved grandson, but to a total stranger. Yep. You read that right. A stranger.


Image via UCLA Health.

You see, Broadman's grandson is Quinn, a little boy born with only one kidney — one kidney that isn't fully functioning. Broadman may be too old to donate by the time Quinn needs a transplant.

At first, he considered donating to a complete stranger anyway. He'd join the list of living donors fittingly called “altruistic donors” and hope for karma to come back around and help Quinn in the future.  

Instead, he came up with a brilliant idea.

That stranger he donated his kidney to? Her name is Kathy DeGrandis. And her sister (who hadn't previously donated because she wasn't compatible with Kathy), donated to a stranger, whose family donated to someone else.

How does this lead back to Quinn? Well, thanks to his grandfather’s innovative thinking, Quinn gets a voucher for that kidney he might need in the future.

“I didn't know anything about kidney donations or anything like that,” Broadman says. But learning that his grandson's life was on the line got him thinking.

He realized that the supply of donated kidneys doesn't even come close to keeping up with the number of people who need them.

To get a transplant in the future, Quinn would have to join a list that's currently over 100,000 people long, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

It's a disturbing wait, with only about 18,000 transplants taking place every year.

That’s why Broadman brought his simple idea to medical professionals at UCLA. He proposed that he’d donate a kidney to a stranger now, and Quinn would get a voucher for a kidney in the future.

And, in the end, he wouldn’t only save one stranger’s life.

Now, his simple proposal is touching more and more strangers' lives every year.

The UCLA Kidney Voucher Program, in association with the National Kidney Registry, connects patients in a sort of paying-it-forward system that Broadman describes as “a geometric progression of goodness.”

How it works: Someone like Broadman has a kidney to give and a loved one in need, but an obstacle like time stands in the way of a direct donation.

So they donate to a stranger. Then their loved one (like the Lego-loving, soccer-playing, joyful kindergartner named Quinn) gets a voucher to become a high priority recipient when an appropriate match becomes available.

Image via UCLA Health.

The initial response to Broadman’s idea? Medical professionals told him that “nobody's ever wanted to do that before,” he says.

But he was ready to be the first, and a unique exchange program was born.

Since its inception at UCLA, at least 30 hospitals now have this program, and studies show that it's making a real difference.

Right now, only about 6,000 donations a year come from the most effective donors — living donors.

This voucher program is already increasing those numbers. So far, donation chains have led to 68 transplants and 21 vouchers issued to patients in need. People who aren't compatible with their loved ones can donate to help them anyway.

Image via UCLA Health.

“Sometimes you need to break out of your pattern, look at things from a different viewpoint,” Broadman suggests. This program, he says, is his “small gift to the universe.”

He pulls no punches in admitting that donating a kidney is a painful procedure. But he’ll tell you that it's worth it to give a fighting chance to someone — like that adorable youngster Quinn, or your own loved one.

“It's my best legacy. I don't know any gift better,” Broadman says as his voice cracks. “It's pretty powerful.”

Inspired? Learn more about the UCLA Kidney Voucher Program.

Pexels
True
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.

True

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.