homer fund, homeless girl gets help from tiktok

No longer homeless, Aaliyah definitely has something worth smiling about.

Sometimes the internet is like a great big community. One that supports its members who are in need of help.

Aaliyah (@oc.liyahh) revealed her struggles of working full-time, without a home of her own, in a heartfelt TikTok video. Little did she know that sharing her story would lead to not only sincere support from total strangers online, but some actual solutions for her problem.

As a full-time employee at Home Depot, Aaliyah worked eight-hour shifts, five days a week. But once she clocked out, it didn’t get much easier.

Having only her car for shelter, Aaliyah would have to use facilities like Planet Fitness to take a shower, only occasionally being able to afford a night in a hotel. With those kinds of challenges, it’s perfectly understandable she admitted to always being tired and “barely ever smiling.”

@oc.liyahh #fypシ #viraltiktok ♬ Sure Thing (cover version) - Tik Toker

Aaliyah’s clip soon went viral with more than 5 million views, and though there were some accusations of Aaliyah “faking it,” the overall response was incredibly supportive. Some even came out to share similar experiences.

“I used to sleep in my car and take showers at the gym also and worked two jobs and barely slept,” one person wrote, encouraging her with, “now I own a small business, my house and two vehicles.”

Another added, “keep at it. I was homeless…I would shower at friends’ houses and ride a bike to work. Now I got my own place and car.”

It does help to hear how others have overcome obstacles you’re currently facing, but Aaliyah received even more reason to remain hopeful.

Unbeknown to her, Aaliyah’s very workplace could provide assistance. Many TikTok users informed her of the Homer Fund, a grant program that provides financial assistance to employees facing hardship. According to the company website, more than 150,000 associates have already been helped.

In a series of follow up videos, we find out that Aaliyah did reach out to the Homer Fund, and received not only emergency funding to get a hotel, but permanent housing as well.

This young woman went from “barely being able to smile” to dancing and feeling “beyond grateful.”

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

Keep Reading Show less

Sandy Hook school shooting survivors are growing up and telling us what they've experienced.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.21


Imagine being 6 years old, sitting in your classroom in an idyllic small town, when you start hearing gunshots. Your teacher tries to sound calm, but you hear the fear in her voice as she tells you to go hide in your cubby. She says, "be quiet as a mouse," but the sobs of your classmates ring in your ears. In four minutes, you hear more than 150 gunshots.

You're in the first grade. You wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus and magic. You're excited about losing your front teeth. Your parents still prescreen PG-rated films so they can prepare you for things that might be scary in them.

And yet here you are, living through a horror few can fathom.

Keep Reading Show less