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It's outrageous what these women are offering to do so that we can have paid family leave.

Paid leave to be a parent — lots of countries have healthy policies for it. Why don't we?

It's outrageous what these women are offering to do so that we can have paid family leave.

Not being able to take paid family leave places families in tough corners.

Many years ago, after a difficult night of trying to calm my asthmatic 2-year-old's respiratory cold, she took a turn for the worse. She began to have "chest retractions," which is what happens when the lungs aren't doing the work of bringing in and expelling air efficiently, so the torso muscles start actually pumping the lungs for survival.

This is what those look like. It's terrifying, and when this happens, oxygen levels in the blood can get dangerously low.


GIF from Liege Davis/YouTube.

Lack of paid family leave forces people to make terrible decisions.

I got her admitted to the hospital at about 5:00 a.m. and needed to report to my job at 9:00 a.m. I wanted nothing more than to stay by her side, but with her chronic asthma, I'd already exhausted my normal sick leave that year and calling in could have meant losing my job at the giant behemoth corporation I worked for. If I lost my job, I'd lose the health insurance she needed so desperately.

In one of the most gut-wrenching moments of my life, I called in a family member to take my place and tore myself away from her bedside to report to work, crying the entire way there.

My daughter made a recovery, mostly outgrew asthma, and I went on to work for an employer with much better paid leave policies (yay Upworthy!). But I never forgot that day and I never forgot how if we went through it, others are going through something similar every day.

America lags behind nearly every other developed nation when it comes to family leave.

An organization reporting for the United Nations found that, among 170 developed countries assessed, only two didn't have defined and guaranteed benefits for paid family leave — the United States and Papua New Guinea. A renewed effort to help America get up to par has been underway, but new House Speaker Paul Ryan has yet to make it a priority.

A new video from AmericanWomen.org hopes to change that. In the video, a bunch of famous women and men (like Mila Jovovich and Maggie Gyllenhaal) are asking, "Who do I have to ____ around here to get paid family leave for Americans?"

This video combines tons of celebrities, some shocking information about just how far behind America is with this, and a funny and surprising twist on how we can get there.

"Do I have to ____ the entire Senate? Because I will."

GIFS from AmericanWomen.org.

"I'll ____ them all!"

Everybody who has a family needs to see this! The time has come for no more heartbreaking choices for moms and dads when it comes to our families and livelihoods.

Courtesy of Verizon
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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

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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