It used to be that when you'd look at maternal health in developing nations, you would never see a story like this one. Here's a country that's onto something big.
Every letter submitted donates a pound of food to pets in need.
Every holiday season,
millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.
But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.
Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?
Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?
“At Chewy, we know pets are a part of the family and we wanted to give them a way to truly participate in the holiday season this year,” said Orlena Yeung, VP of Brand Marketing at Chewy. “Through Chewy Claus, we are hoping to spread joy while recognizing the most important gift that keeps on giving—the love and companionship of our pets.”
To submit your letter to Chewy Claus, just go to be.chewy.com/chewy-claus.
Not only could your pet’s letter make their holidays even merrier, it will give back, too. For every letter submitted to Chewy Claus, Chewy will donate one pound of food to Greater Good Charities (up to 15,000 pounds). Further, for every product purchased during the Season of Giving, Chewy will match up to $1 million per week in a pet food and supply donation to Greater Good Charities, for a potential total of $10 million.
I’ve got a new dog this year, a one-year-old boxer mix named Archie and I know what he wants this holiday season.
The first letter sent to Chewy Claus came from True & Faithful Pet Rescue in Venice, FL. The rescue, which focuses on saving senior dogs, was one of the many victims of Hurricane Ian. Their wish was simple; they asked for food for themselves and those in their community.
Chewy Claus delivered by providing a 20-thousand-pound truckload of food to True & Faithful and other shelter and rescue partners in the community. Chewy also assembled a team of volunteers to hold a clean-up day and donated the necessary funds to rebuild their beloved dog beach.
“We are so grateful for Chewy’s support in rehabilitating our space and not only donating thousands of pounds of food to our community, but also providing the help and funds necessary to rebuild our beach,” Lisa Letson, Founder of True & Faithful Pet Rescue told Upworthy. “The beach is our senior dogs’ happy place, where they can live their best lives for the time they have left. It really is a dream come true for us.”
Chewy is the best place to shop for pets this holiday season because it's the gift that keeps on giving. It’s simple: when you shop, they donate. Chewy will also match customer purchases in the form of a product donation up to $1M per week for a potential total of $10M throughout the season of giving. That means pets living in shelters and rescues will receive toys, treats, food and other essential items this holiday season. Plus, if you write a letter to Chewy Claus, your pet may get their holiday wish and pets in need will get theirs, too—a win win win. Isn’t that what the season is all about?
Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.
Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.
It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.
The World Cup is being played in Qatar and Iran's soccer team is in attendance. There have been reports that the Iranian players were threatened with their family members facing "violence and torture" after the team refused to sing the Iranian national anthem. But there was tension with the Iranian government and the American players after the US soccer team displayed the Iranian flag without the Iranian Republic emblem.
Maybe the flag mishap spurred the reporters loaded questions. When the Iranian reporter first addresses Adams, he immediately chastises him for not knowing the correct pronunciation of Iran before moving on to an interesting question choice.
The reporter asked Adams, "are you ok to be representing a country that has so much discrimination against Black people in its own boarders and you saw the Black Lives Matter Movement over the past few years. Are you OK the US meanwhile there's so much discrimination happening against Black people in America"
Adams, did not get defensive about the correction but responded by apologizing about mispronouncing the name of the country. The player's response to the rest of the question proves the young captain's emotional maturity and why he's captain of the US soccer team.
Watch his entire response below:
At his most vulnerable moment, he found the gift of self-expression.
Dave Steele was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in 2014 and told that he would slowly lose his vision until he was completely blind. Imagine the pain and stress of knowing that every day your sense of sight will slowly diminish until you fall into darkness.
Steele was not only losing his sight, but after his diagnosis, he felt he lost his purpose.
The diagnosis came with an added gut punch: Each of his four children also has a 50% chance of having RP. Steele lost his job, his family couldn’t afford the rent on their home and the waiting list for government benefits was nine months. "I was feeling more guilty about the pressure I was putting on my family and that, in turn, was affecting my vision loss as well and I became more anxious and more isolated because of it,” he told Henshaws InSights.
As his troubles mounted, Steele found solace in talking to others coping with sight loss through Facebook community groups. “That was a real massive, massive help to me,” he told Henshaws InSights.
Steele told his new friends in the RP community that he had worked as a singer, and they invited him to perform at a support group meeting. The night before his performance, he had a moment of pure inspiration. He decided to change the lyrics to Ben E. King’s hit, “Stand By Me” to reflect what life was like living with RP.
Dave Steele Stand by me RP awarenesswww.youtube.com
This opened the door for his sense of purpose in life to return. "People were coming up to me saying that the words I had written were able to describe how they had always thought about their journey with sight loss when they were unable to find the words themselves,” he said.
In coping with his disability, Steele discovered a talent he never knew he had.
“I never considered myself a poet before I started to lose my sight. I worked as a singer since the age of 18 and had written a couple of poems and songs about things like previous girlfriends. But it wasn’t until I started going blind that I found the ability to write these words that have helped so many people,” he told Upworthy.
This realization led him to create a community for people dealing with RP. Every day he wrote about everything he was going through in poetry and posted them on Facebook RP groups. The experience was cathartic for Steele and his followers.
His poetry gave people words to describe their journey they wouldn’t have had otherwise, and helped countless people feel they weren’t alone. That’s when Dave Steele truly became The Blind Poet. Steele has created a community on Facebook where thousands come to read his poems, share their stories, connect and support one another. He has written more than 1800 poems, published four books of poetry and written a book for children with low vision, “Austin’s Adventures.”
In 2019, Steele, who lives in Manchester, England, was able to do his first speaking tour of the U.S.
Steele uses his persona as The Blind Poet to clear up misconceptions about people with low vision.
“Being blind doesn't mean that we can’t see anything. Ninety-three percent of people affected by vision loss have some kind of remaining vision. This misconception isn’t anybody’s fault but the lack of education surrounding blindness can cause people like me to become isolated,” he told Upworthy.
Steele believes this misconception makes visually impaired people less likely to use their mobility aids such as a seeing-eye dog or cane in public.
“I’ve been accused of faking my blindness many times by strangers when I’m out and most people living with vision loss have been told ‘you don’t look blind,’ but what does blindness look like?” he added.
Steele wants people to know that “blindness is a spectrum, that there are many different shades and ways to lose sight.”
The Blind Poet’s writing has a big effect on people regardless of their ability to see. “Those affected relate to the words I write and those who aren’t, close their eyes and put themselves in our shoes,” he told Upworthy. “I talk about themes that everyone can relate to whether living with a disability or not."
The poem that’s had the biggest reaction is “The Secret,” dedicated to Steele’s daughter who lives in Scotland. “It’s about the internal struggle with when is the right time to tell your child that they have a one in two chance of going blind when they’re older due to the condition I have,” he said.
“The Secret” By Dave “The Blind Poet” Steele
It took me years to come to terms with how my eyes declined
Through stages of acceptance of slowly going blind
But nothing I could ever do would allow me to prepare To tell my little girl the thing I still don’t want to share
It’s tortured me through sleepless nights consumed my mind with guilt
This secret I have kept from her could break the trust I’ve built
I pray that she will understand the things I tried to do and why I never told her that she could be 1 in 2
For she is still a child and far too young to burden with
a fate that I might pass to her for now’s her time to live
But soon will come a moment when I know she must be told
When all the battles I have won I’ll pass for her to hold
But for every unheard question there's an answer I’ve prepared
They’re written in each line each verse each poem that I’ve shared
For every page I’ve filled I’ve emptied out my heart and soul
So one day she would know the way
That’s always been my goal
So Ellie I hope years from now you’ll be there reading this
Know you can do amazing things whether RP hit or miss
My inheritance to you won’t be a passed down faulty gene
But knowing all life’s beauty that this VIP has seen
His words also helped a 7-year-old girl named Jackie stand up to bullies in Amarillo, Texas. Her mother taught her one of Steele's poems and she recited it to speak up for herself. The Blind Poet met the family at an event where he spoke and wrote a poem for her. Here's an excerpt:
I may be only 7 but it's getting hard to see
They notice first the cane I hold but "Hi I'm still Jackie"
For I am just a little girl who loves to swim and dance
Will do it every single day if my eyes give me the chance
The classroom lights can sting my eyes
Some days I just black out
I try to do the best I can
Despite the ones who doubt
Don't treat me like a baby
I am small but I am strong
No matter how my vision fades
It's my world and I belong
Steele hopes that everyone who is struggling with RP can find community like he has. “Losing sight can feel very isolating and often it’s easy to feel like we are the only ones going through it,” he told Upworthy. “But through the words in my poetry and the many amazing support groups on social media, realizing we aren’t alone can be the first step in acceptance and taking our lives back.”
Facebook has been a life-changing tool for bringing visually impaired people together. “There are so many incredible support groups and pages that are created by people who are going through the same things,” he told Upworthy. “Just being able to connect with someone like that is so important and it’s been integral to my story.”
Facebook has also given him a voice.
“Without Meta/Facebook I wouldn’t be where I am today or known as The Blind Poet,” he said. “To be able to write a piece of poetry and upload it by clicking a button and sending it around the world and to someone who needs to hear its message is truly an incredible thing.”
Steele finds that Facebook’s accessibility features have improved over the years and helped the visually impaired get the most out of the platform.
“Things like dark mode, allowing users to invert the colors on the display to reduce glare on the eyes,” he said. “Also larger text options and, of course, VoiceOver make sure that we can connect with people just the same as anyone else.”
After facing adversity, Steele has turned it into an opportunity to uplift countless people who are facing a devastating diagnosis. Even though his sight may be fading, his dedication to helping others is only growing stronger.
“Being known around the world as The Blind Poet is something I never take for granted,” he told Upworthy. “Every day, I try to reach more people and replicate the impact my poetry has already had with others. I want the opportunity to speak at more events around the world and ultimately to continue to be a voice for those who are comforted by my words.”
This article originally appeared on 07.22.21
As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.
Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.
"We often have people ask if they can visit the patients they dropped off, but today we had our first animal visitor!" they wrote. "For the safety of our patients we do not accommodate visitation requests, but in this case we had to make an exception!"
Arnold is a Canada goose that lives on a pond near the facility and is part of a mated pair of wild geese that have been together for several years. The center said the geese usually keep to themselves, but one of their staff noticed that Arnold was walking with a "significant limp" and kept falling over. They were able to capture him and bring him into the hospital for examination.
A goose visits its mate at the Cape Wildlife Center
"Upon exam our veterinary team found that he had two open-fractures on his foot," they wrote. "This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed. Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming."
To save his foot and help him survive, the staff knew they had to amputate one of the digits and suture the other wound closed. They gave him antibiotics and pain meds and prepped him for surgery the following morning.
Then his mate came knocking.
"Today, as we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door," the center wrote. "We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic! She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside. She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway."
Surgery went well, and once Arnold woke up the staff decided to let him recover by the doorway so he and his mate could see each other.
"We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door. They both seemed much more at ease in each other's presence."
"Arnold will likely need several weeks of treatment in our hospital before he is ready to rejoin his mate in the wild," they added. "He will need to be kept inside for the majority of this time in order to keep his wound sterile and prevent infection. We will do our best to get him back out quickly and will perform bandage changes and treatments in view of the doorway when possible so that his mate can check up on him. ❤️"
While attempting not to anthropomorphize too much, it's so sweet to see animal partners show such genuine care for one another. Canada geese mate for life, and they are known to mourn in seclusion when they lose a mate. Seeing Arnold's mate coming to find him and comfort him during his treatment is just too lovely.
Feel good story of the day, indeed. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Arnold!
This week's list includes some adorable animals, some delightful dancing, and a beautiful example of human connection.
It's officially December—can you believe it? That means 2022 is almost a wrap, which is wild. I mean, wasn't it just 2020?!?
For many people, December is the season of joy and giving and holiday gatherings, but it can also be a lonely or stressful time for some of our fellow humans. Family isn't a source of comfort for everyone, unfortunately, and challenges with relationships or finances can make for a difficult December. As we reflect on the past year and prepare for the new one, let's all commit to treating one another with an extra dose of kindness.
Let's also remember to celebrate small joys as the days get colder and shorter, like the coziness of a cup of hot cocoa, the sweetness of a child's laughter or the companionship of our furry friends. It's often a large collection of little things that add up to a good life, and thankfully, small joys are cheap and plentiful.
This week's list of things that made us smile is full of joys large and small, starting with some adorable animals and ending with some happy, helpful humans. We hope it brings a smile (or 10) to your face as you head through the weekend.
\u201cThis dog learned how to rebound the ball when his owner is playing basketball \u2764\ufe0f \ud83c\udfc0\u201d— CBS News (@CBS News) 1669924825
That is one smart and very fit dog. Look how excited they are to be helpful.
\u201cI've watched this on an endless loop for 15 minutes.\u201d— Alex M. Kintner (@Alex M. Kintner) 1669611090
It never gets old.
Seriously, I need everyone who has a cat to have wreath photos done. These turned out so great.
Who's got the tissues? I need tissues.
That little paw raise. Goodness.
"We can't change the past and some of the dumb stuff we may have done, but every once in a while we can add a little redeeming grace note to that situation — and maybe put a big smile on some strangers' faces." Love it. Read the full story here.
So good. A shorter version of this video from Isaiah Shinn went viral on Instagram this summer, but this extended version is even better.
How sweet is that? Read the full story here.
These family celebrations never get old.
This is the true power of sports ⚽️❤️
There was a lot of political stuff that went along with this match, but sports are supposed to bring people together. This moment when Antonee Robinson hugged Iranian opponent Ramin Rezaeian at the end of the game says it all. (And in fact, there were several similar moments of human-to-human connection and comfort between the opposing teams after the game.) So beautiful.
Hope that brought some joy to your heart! Come back next week for another roundup of smileworthy finds and if you'd like to have them delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest.