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.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

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It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Normal activities include things like getting a coffee at Starbucks, but a viral video of a barista's encounter with an anti-masker shows why the U.S. will likely be living in the worst of both worlds—massive spread and economic woe—for the foreseeable future.

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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