In 1 tweet, J.K. Rowling captured the media's hypocrisy in how it treats Syrian refugees.

J.K. Rowling is heartsick over how the thousands of Middle Eastern refugees flooding into Europe are being treated.


So when The Daily Express published an article about the major humanitarian crisis on the bottom of their front page, Rowling took them to task.

Specifically, for the prominent placement of a different story about a dog looking for a home.



Of course, Rowling wasn't suggesting that people shouldn't care about homeless dogs.

Photo via dudwnhahaha.

There are many unsheltered animals that need loving homes, and it's completely understandable — and admirable — to feel for them and want them to be safe.

And dogs are, without a doubt, very cute.

But the tweet reflects a growing frustration that, while one dog needing a home is sad, there are thousands of people who need homes — and not enough is being done about it.


Photo by Philippe Huguen/Getty Images.

Scenes like this one in Hungary, where thousands of refugees stuck on sweltering train cars were denied passage to Germany, and this one (warning, graphic images), where authorities found the body of a drowned toddler washed up on a Turkish beach, have become all-too-common across the continent.

There is hope, however. In some countries, people are taking matters into their own hands.

Photo by Andreas Tille.

According to a New York Times report, when the Icelandic government pledged to take in only 50 refugees in 2015, a group of Icelanders called on the government to permit 4,950 more to enter the country. They wrote on Facebook:

“Refugees are our future spouses, best friends, our next soul mate, the drummer in our children's band, our next colleague, Miss Iceland 2022, the carpenter who finally fixes our bathroom, the chef in the cafeteria, the fireman, the hacker and the television host. People who we'll never be able to say to: 'Your life is worth less than mine.'"

And some towns, like Goslar, Germany, have rolled out the welcome mat for new migrants.

Oliver Junk, mayor of Goslar, Germany. Photo by Nigel Treblin/Getty Images.

The mayor of Goslar believes the influx of new residents could be a huge boon for his region's economy and cultural life, and he has put out an open invitation for recent arrivals to settle there.

Hopefully, if more people like Rowling speak out, more people around the world will start opening their hearts and their communities to people in need.

We might not all have the same platform that Rowling has, but our combined voices can surely make a difference.

Syrian refugee children pose for a photo in Lebanon. Photo by Joseph Eid/Getty Images.

The Syrian migrants can't go back to where they came from. They need new homes and new lives, and it's up to us to help them.

In order to do that, we need to start seeing them not as refugees, but as our potential neighbors.

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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