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If Millions Of Other People Weren't In The Same Boat, This Graphic Would Make Me Feel Powerless

We can all tell when it's election season. Canvassers pour into our neighborhoods and public spaces. Campaign signs pop up on front yards, fences, windows, and buildings. Phones ring with volunteers (or robo-calls) eager to share how so-and-so candidate only wants the best for our country. Our favorite TV shows are interrupted by smear ads and soft-spoken placements that say, "Vote for me. I'm just like you." And, of course, there's the nonstop election coverage, which is ... well, no comment.All of that costs money — so much of it that, in order to stand a chance at winning a Senate seat, for example, a viable candidate can't spend time hearing from people who aren't major campaign donors, let alone folks who need and deserve more representation in the halls of Congress. The graphic below shows you what we're dealing with.

If Millions Of Other People Weren't In The Same Boat, This Graphic Would Make Me Feel Powerless

FACT CHECK TIME!


We found slightly conflicting data on the amount of money spent by winning candidates. The graphic above shows that winning Senate candidates in 2010 spent an average of $9.8 million, but OpenSecrets logs that figure $8.3 million.

The fact remains that this situation is unfit for a democratic society. Can voting change it? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's clearly going to take a lot more. And here's one of the most exciting possibilities we've seen.

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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.