A horse sanctuary was reduced to ashes in a California fire, but all 20 horses miraculously survived
via GoFundMe

The wildfires that have ravaged the west coast over the past two months have burned millions of acres, claimed over 30 lives, and forced thousands to live in evacuation shelters.

The fires have also caused unimaginable damage to the area's wildlife.

Critical populations of endangered species and native habitats may take years to recover.

"Some of these places we set aside may be fundamentally impacted by climate change and may not be able to come back," Amy Windrope, deputy director of Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife," said according to The New York Times. "That's just a reality."


Out of all the death and destruction comes a wonderful story out of Jamul, California, outside of San Diego.

Over twenty years ago, Patty Hyslop started the Hyslop Horse Haven to care for abused and neglected horses. Hyslop sufferers from multiple sclerosis and, at one point, was paralyzed, but she believes her love for horses has helped her condition improve.

The sanctuary also provides horseback riding lessons for children.

On September 5, as the Valley Fire raged through the area, forcing Hyslop to evacuate her ranch, leaving the horses behind.

"It was one of the scariest things that we've ever been through," Hyslop told FOX 5.

"When I saw those hundred-foot flames coming at us … I (thought I) was going to come back the next day to dead horses or severely burnt horses. And if they had died, I think I would've died with them. My heart would have just broken," she continued.

via GoFundMe

After the fire made its way through the area, Hyslop returned to her horse haven fearing the worst. But she was shocked to find that all 20 of her horses survived.

Hyslop belives the animals were saved by "horse angels."

Unfortunately, the stable didn't have such luck. The entire sanctuary was reduced to ash and debris. Eight sheds with thousands of dollars worth of medications, tack, and supplies were brunt to the ground. As was Hyslop's golf cart and trailers for the sanctuary's volunteers.

via Fox 5 San Diego

"My shed alone, there was probably $10,000 worth of tack and medications feed everything inside and it's just all gone," said Hope Gilces, Hyslop's niece.

The horses have been transferred to temporary facilities while Hyslop and her team work to get the sanctuary back into order. Even though her sanctuary has suffered a massive setback, she still vows to rescue even more horses, including those impacted by the blaze.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help rebuild the sanctuary.

"The ranch is going to be in need of feed, medicine, care equipment, and all items needed for riding lessons (saddles, blankets, tack, etc)," the campaign reads. "They will need to rebuild storage units and replace machinery that didn't survive the fire."

Let's hope Hyslop's horse angels come through again and help her get the funding she needs to continue her important work.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Officer Stagg meeting Sherry Smith on WISH-TV.

Indianapolis Police Officer Jeff Stagg selflessly maintained the roadside memorial of Shelby Smith, who had been killed by a drunk driver. He picked up trash and placed little plastic flowers, figurines and rocks around it to keep it presentable. Though Shelby died nearly 22 years ago, Officer Stagg didn't want her to be forgotten. And now, his act of kindness won't be forgotten either.

Passerby Kaleb Hall (@kalebhall00 on TikTok) noticed the officer cleaning up the site and asked him what he was doing here. Kaleb had already thought the behavior a little uncharacteristic, "a cop cleaning up trash in the hood," so he went over to inquire.

After explaining that Shelby's memorial was in his patrol area and that he guessed her family had moved away, Officer Stagg told Kaleb, "no one's keeping it up anymore, so I just wanna make sure it stays kept up."

Stagg had noticed the memorial had become surrounded by overgrown grass, weeds and trash. After driving past it every day, Officer Stagg thought enough was enough.


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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."