More

If You Thought Being A Big-Time College Athlete Was A Good Deal, You Need To See These Numbers

As a confirmed theater nerd, I always assumed that the athletes at big-time sports colleges lived charmed existences. After all, they're talented, they're popular, and thousands of people turn out every week to watch them play. What could be bad about that? It never occurred to me that, in addition to classes, they have to work 40-60 hours a week in what amounts to a second full-time job — for no pay. Sure, they have scholarships, but they still have out-of-pocket expenses and no time for a job that earns them a real income. For every one that goes pro and signs the big contract, at least 50 more won't, and those who don't will never see a penny of the millions of dollars they generated for their schools in ticket sales, merchandise, TV licensing, video game appearances, and more.

If You Thought Being A Big-Time College Athlete Was A Good Deal, You Need To See These Numbers
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.