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If you're a kid with allergies, seeing a pumpkin like this will make Halloween more fun.

How neighborhoods across America are making Halloween safer for kids with allergies.

If you're a kid with allergies, seeing a pumpkin like this will make Halloween more fun.

On Halloween, kids should be excited about their awesome costumes.

What they definitely shouldn't be worrying about? How scary a trip to the ER could be after an allergic reaction.

But for children with food allergies (and their parents), the joys of running door to door and asking for a trick or a treat can be overwhelmed by the stress of a seriously dangerous reaction to the ingredients in the candy.


That's where the Teal Pumpkin Project comes in.

Photo via Food Allergy Research and Education, used with permission.

A few years ago in East Tennessee, neighbors came together to raise awareness for food allergies. How? By placing teal pumpkins outside their doors on Halloween to signify that those houses are safe for trick-or-treaters who have allergies.

Any tiny ghost, little Superman, or mini Princess Elsa could stop by a teal pumpkin house to get a non-food treat, like a small toy or a glow stick.

The Teal Pumpkin Project took off running, and this is the second year that Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has promoted it nationally.

"Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies because many traditional Halloween treats aren't safe for children with life-threatening food allergies," FARE's website explains. “This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!"

This year, #TealPumpkinProject has even started trending on Facebook and Twitter, and hundreds have tweeted their support of the project.

Want to be a part of the Teal Pumpkin Project? Of course you do. Here's how.

First, paint a pumpkin teal or print out one of the signs on FARE's website to show neighborhood kids and parents that you're an allergen-free trick-or-treat stop.

Then, pick up some allergen-free treats for the kids coming to your door. Toys, stickers, temporary tattoos, boxes of crayons ... the options are pretty much limitless.

Just don't get lost in the toy aisle!

Being a kid isn't always easy, especially if you're a kid with food allergies.

And it can be even harder on the children's high holiday of Halloween. Thanks to the Teal Pumpkin Project, neighbors can now help each other keep their children safe, and kids with allergies don't have to miss out on the fun. That's pretty great.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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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.