How one man is fighting to keep a 104-year-old woman safe at home.

Evan LaPointe met Audrey Roberts when he was only 3 years old.

She was a volunteer foster grandparent, and she would take care of Evan when his parents were out of town. "She would cook me food and everything and just spoil me like she was my own grandmother," Evan told Upworthy.


Evan and Audrey. Photo courtesy of Evan LaPointe.

Now Evan is 21, and Audrey is, astonishingly, 104. They're neighbors and have remained close friends.

As you can imagine, Audrey's life has been filled with 104 years of ups, downs, surprises, and heartbreaks.

With an eighth-grade education, Audrey worked for most of her life at a commercial laundry as a marker and checker. She never made more than minimum wage, but she cherished the hard work. Ultimately, she managed to save up about $200,000 throughout her career.

Audrey's husband, John, died when he was 70. Her only son, Earl, died in a car accident at 21. And just four years ago, Audrey broke her hip and had to spend six months in a physical therapy facility. Being away from her home that long was a heavy burden that weighed on her conscience and mental health. "Her overall mentality just got really negative," Evan remembers. "I mean, she was 100 years old. So she wanted to be in her home."

Today, fully recovered and fending for herself, she does laps around her living room to stay active and never misses her hair appointment every other Friday.

"She's doing great," Evan said. "I mean, 104 ... she's incredible."

Evan and Audrey now. Photo courtesy of Evan LaPointe.

But time and medical expenses have caught up with Audrey's savings.

No one could possibly plan to live to 104. So despite working hard for her entire life and living within her means, Audrey's savings has dried up, and her Social Security checks stopped covering her daily in-home medical care.

Soon, Audrey may have to face leaving her cherished home to live out her final years in a care facility.

But not if Evan has anything to say about it.

Evan created a GoFundMe campaign to help Audrey spend her last days in the home she's earned.

Audrey outside her home in Kentucky. Photo courtesy of Evan LaPointe.

It's an "urgent plea," he said — a plea to caring people everywhere.

"We just remember how hard it was [when she broke her hip] and just how she got mentally," Evan said. "So my brother brought up the idea of trying one of the GoFundMe's. We gave it a shot, and so far we’re doing pretty good."

As of this writing, Evan's GoFundMe has raised over $23,000 in just 11 days. All to "Keep Audrey Home."

"It’s really important to me and to all of us just to keep her home and keep her happy," Evan said. "That’s her last wish. When she passes, she wants to be in her home."

Almost 530 people have donated so far, and the campaign has even gotten the attention of GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon.

"This campaign is very typical of what can happen on GoFundMe," Rob told Upworthy. "Our core purpose is to empower people to help people."

GoFundMe differs from other crowdfunding sites in that it raises money for causes. So while the campaign is designed to help one person, the motivation behind each dollar seems to be a larger, more systemic one. Many people see themselves or their loved ones in Audrey's face.

Photo courtesy of Evan LaPointe.

"One of our core values is helping to spread empathy," Rob said. "And I think what I’m seeing in the comments on this campaign is a lot of people are saying, 'Wait, this can happen to me.' ... So though it's just helping one person, it's really bringing awareness to issues. I think it's getting people involved in giving."

What are the issues forcing Audrey out of her home? Take your pick.

The rising costs of medical care. Failing government safety nets. For Solomon, it's income inequality at play.

"One stat that’s really staggering is that half of all Americans, if they had to come up with $400 for an emergency right now — can’t," Solomon said, citing an article this month in The Atlantic. "The income inequality problem in our country, and more importantly on a global basis, is really big. Perhaps getting bigger. ... Relying on government to come together and solve it, or nonprofits to solve it, I think is too daunting a task. It’s really local communities that have to band together to help people out when life hits them."

For Evan LaPointe, though, the issue is a simple one: dignity.

"Our goal is to touch the hearts of people who believe dignity is vital to life," says the GoFundMe page. And in my conversation with Evan, he brought up the subject multiple times.

Photo courtesy of Evan LaPointe.

"I’ll be the same way," he joked. "I hope I make it to 104, but I’ll be the exact same way. I mean, she loves her home and we don’t blame her at all for it."

Whatever reasons people have for donating to Evan's cause, he's already overwhelmed by the support and positivity.

"We’re always seeing negative stuff going around," he said. "But we’ve gotten a lot of cool things from people just saying, 'This is great what you’re doing.' Just seeing something positive and other people noticing it is really cool. I mean, we just wanna keep her home no matter what. We’re just doing whatever we can."

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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