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Let me show you what discrimination looks like in real life. It hurts.

Just because the Boy Scouts of America can exclude people because of their sexual orientation doesn't mean they should.

Let me show you what discrimination looks like in real life. It hurts.

Imagine how you'd feel if you were told your child could remain part of a group but that you were unwelcome because of who you were.

Adella Freeman doesn't have to imagine. She says was recently told she wasn't welcome as a committee member in her son's Boy Scout troop. The reason? She's gay. This is what discrimination looks like.


Adella and her partner are parents to three kids, the eldest of which has been a Boy Scout for eight years. 15-year-old Nick (pictured above, left) was just a year away from becoming an Eagle Scout and had joined a new troop after the one he previously belonged to dissolved due to low membership.

Adella submitted an application to the new troop for family committee membership and assumed it would be accepted. After all, her family had been committee members for the eight years Nick was in other troops.

But she was wrong.

Instead, she says a leader from the troop approached her at a meeting and pulled her aside. She explains:

"The leader who approached me stated that it had been brought to his attention that it was a possibility that we were gay and because of that, he would have to ask that we withdraw our applications, which they had not even submitted since we had joined, or we could pretend the conversation hadn't happened and not mention anything else."

Adella left the meeting and sat in her car, knowing she was going to have to tell her son (who hadn't been a part of the conversation) what happened once he came out.

How could this happen?

Easily. The Boy Scouts of America is legally allowed to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.

Back in 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America could legally exclude gay scouts and gay leaders because of their sexual orientation. 14 years later, on January 1, 2014, the Boy Scouts lifted the ban on openly gay scouts, agreeing to be more inclusive by allowing anyone to become a Boy Scout.

But the ban on gay leaders remained.

Adella believed that committee membership was different than leadership and therefore didn't think that the ban applied to her. Based on Adella's recount of what happened, her son's troop disagreed.


When Nick finished up the meeting and came to the car, Adella told him what happened. Knowing her son had dedicated over half his life to the Boy Scouts, she offered him the option of remaining a part of the troop and distancing herself. He declined, saying that he wasn't willing to be part of an organization that didn't welcome his family.

"He was amazed that people would be so hurtful and discriminate ... like that," Adella said. "We have raised our kids to be respectful and accepting to everyone, and they are not used to seeing this sort of behavior."

So what now?

Adella is determined to not let this happen to other families.

"I would love to see the Boy Scouts change the policy to include all families. All families are important. I would like for the Boy Scouts to know that they really don't hurt the adults with this policy as much as they hurt the boys. The boys are the ones who suffer."

Adella is a chapter lead for Scouts for Equality. You can learn more about the organization and how to support it.

She also started a petition on change.org, asking the Boy Scouts to allow all families to be members. You can add your name to the petition, joining at least 60,000 other people who already have — and ask your friends and family to do the same.

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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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.