How to save 1,400 dogs from being euthanized.


Are you — like tens of millions of others — what you would call a "dog person?"

Or, at the very least, will you agree with me when I say that this dog enjoying a popsicle is both (a) adorable and (b) having a pretty good time? Good.


Take that feeling, multiply it by 1,400, and what you'll get is Sara Cross and Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.

It all started when Sara saw a Facebook picture of a dog named Kevin on death row. Though she was still living in a one-bedroom apartment, Cross started taking in and fostering dogs.

Four years later, and with the help of some great volunteers, her nonprofit shelter has rescued more than 1,400 dogs.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that around 2.4 million perfectly healthy pets are put down in shelters each year.

Cross and Brooklyn Badass Animal Rescue can't solve this problem on their own, but they're doing everything they can to help reduce the number of healthy dogs that otherwise end up being euthanized.

Cross was just one person trying to make a difference, and now her efforts have snowballed into a thriving nonprofit shelter.

As individuals, we can only do so much. But together we can change the world, and that's exactly what Cross is trying to do.

Every success story begins with a dream, and Sara Cross has hers:

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.