How performing little acts of kindness is helping grieving parents move forward.

Joanne Cacciatore's daughter, Cheyenne, was stillborn in July 1994. She says it was the worst day of her life.

Photo via Joanne Cacciatore, used with permission.

She briefly held her baby girl in her arms, but that was all the time she'd get with her.


It was then that Cacciatore decided to dedicate her life to helping parents like herself deal with grief.

But first, she had her own grief to contend with. She says in the months that followed, she couldn't stop crying and found parenting her other three children to be an impossible task.

That Christmas, which would've been Cheyenne's first, Cacciatore took the money she would have spent on presents and did something a little different with it. She bought a bunch of toys for underprivileged kids through a local charity.

"And in that moment [Cheyenne] was very much alive, because my love for her continued, and I was able to enact that love in the world," she told Yahoo! News.

That's when she first became aware of the immense healing power of giving. From there, she started The Kindness Project.

The Kindness Project asks grieving parents to do good deeds in their communities in memory of a lost child (or parent, friend, or spouse).

They then leave behind a small note card so the recipient can channel their gratitude toward the deceased and know that person's life and death continues to matter.

All photos provided by The Kindness Project.

Cacciatore says so far, over 2,000,000 acts of kindness have occurred because of the project around the world.

There's Kamaria McDonald, who donated toys, baby supplies, and more to a domestic violence shelter in honor of her late-son, Dane.

There's young Mackenzie's mother, who paid for and left two giant stuffed animals for some unsuspecting kids at a Kohl's in memory of her daughter.

A first-grade class in Richmond, California, wrote kind notes to their neighbors in honor of Teddy, a young boy who died of cancer.

Michael's mom donated basketballs to her local community center in honor of her son, who loved to shoot hoops.

And then there's Ann, whose story has stuck with Cacciatore for many years.

Ann tragically lost her baby, Joshua, to sudden infant death syndrome. One day, at one of her favorite restaurants, Ann stumbled across a young pregnant woman enjoying a baby shower. In her grief, it was almost too much to bear.

Ann headed for the door, feeling confused, overwhelmed, and inexplicably angry at this complete stranger. But "she paused, took a deep breath, took out a Kindness Project card, wrote Joshua's name on it, pre-paid the bill of the shower party in full, and called me weeping," Cacciatore wrote in the book Techniques of Grief Therapy.

It was a painful thing for Ann to do but an important step in her healing process.

The Kindness Project's Facebook page is flooded with incredible stories of giving — from cups of coffee to massive donations.

As beautiful as it is for a stranger to experience an unexpected act of kindness, the project is really about parents finding constructive ways to heal.

"While these good deeds do not eradicate grief, nor should they do so," Cacciatore wrote, "They do provide a means through which the mourner can redirect painful emotions into feelings of love and compassion and hope."

Losing a child is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Cacciatore just hopes that all of that pain and suffering won't be totally in vain, and we remember that every life deserves to be remembered, no matter how short it might be.

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Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

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Melanie Cholish/Facebook

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Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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