How this grandma feels after a video of her joyfully voting for a woman went viral.

America may very soon have a female president for the first time. And the historical significance of that hasn't been lost on women like Vickie Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, a 60-year-old former teacher who lives in Montana, recently cast her vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party — and it was a day she won't soon forget.

"I got to vote for a woman for president," Wilkinson says through laughs and tears in the video captured by her daughter, Sarah Dean, who shared it online. "We finally made it."


The video quickly went viral, garnering millions of views across various social media platforms overnight. Although it's easy to understand why the video took off, Wilkinson's emotional experience isn't unique this election cycle — many woman know exactly how she felt in that moment.

Women across America have been itching for the chance to vote someone into the country's highest office who looks like them.

They've been itching a long time.

Older women in particular are feeling especially moved by their ballots this year.

(Of course, many women aren't supporting Clinton, but the gender divide is especially stark this year.)

Some of these voters were born before women even had the right to vote.

"It feels very wonderful," this 101-year-old noted of the experience, proudly sporting a patriotic sticker.

"This election means that women can achieve anything," 102-year-old Katherine Blood Hoffman of Florida said while waving her American flag.

Understandably, getting to cast a ballot for the first female presidential candidate who has a chance at winning is a big deal.

After 44 men in a row, 2016 seems like a great year to buck the trend.

But the fact that Clinton is a woman isn't the only reason these women are excited to vote for her.

They're not voting for her just because she's a woman — she's a woman who also represents them, their values, and their vision for the future. Wilkinson, for example, supports Clinton's plans to take on gun violence, address children's issues, and fight for gender equality in the workplace.

“I think that women do have a particular viewpoint to bring into the arena,” she said.

But we also shouldn't dismiss the fact that Clinton simply being a woman in and of itself makes a difference. Acknowledging the importance of Clinton's gender isn't playing the "woman card," as some like to put it — it's celebrating another momentous step forward for our country.

Take a look at 98-year-old Emily, who can't contain that smile.

Or 98-year-old Estelle, who looks over the moon holding her absentee ballot.

These women, more than anyone else, have every reason to feel great about helping make history.

Wilkinson says she's been stunned by the overwhelmingly positive reactions she's gotten to the video after it spread across social media.

“The wonderful things that people have said have reinforced that I’m not the only person that feels this way," she says, noting the barrage of kind messages from both friends and complete strangers who had similar experiences casting their ballots.

Photo via Sarah Dean, used with permission.

Beyond what a woman in the White House means to her personally, Wilkinson understands the crucial message seeing a female president will send to young people.

“It was equally as awesome to vote for a black man for president,” she says. “But I’m a woman, and I have a beautiful daughter, and a wonderful step-daughter, and granddaughters — I’m so excited for them because they don’t have to look at the world the same way I did.”

Photo via Sarah Dean, used with permission.

“I’m listening to my 12-year-old granddaughter now, and she’s very thrilled that this old-fashioned view of, ‘Oh, well only boys can do this’ is now gone," she says.

"'Girls can do this too. I can do this, grandma.'"

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.