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Love books? These 12 tiny libraries might steal your heart.

Because everyone should have a book to read.

Love books? These 12 tiny libraries might steal your heart.

Have you spotted one of these in your neighborhood?

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


It's cute, huh? Sort of like an oversized, adorable mailbox you'd see in a fairytale but with books inside.


They're called Little Free Libraries. And they're popping up everywhere.

Any passerby can drop by, pick up a book that piques their interest, and then return a different book they'd like to share. Take a book, give a book, basically!

The coolest part? Anyone can start one. All you have to do is fill a box with some page-turners in a place that's accessible to the folks you want to share with (i.e., your front yard). The box can be built from scratch or purchased.

Then the magic begins!

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


The nonprofit responsible for these charming boxes — named Little Free Library, naturally — has experienced an explosion of interest around its idea. (Seriously, I know explosion sounds dramatic, but the numbers will back me up here.)

Since Little Free Library got off the ground five years ago, 28,000 boxes have sprung up across the globe!

Little Free Libraries are in every American state, every Canadian province, and in 80 other countries around the world. In fact, Little Free Library told Upworthy there's about 40 million books in circulation through their boxes. (And that's a modest estimation.)

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on

This is a simple idea that has a huge effect on kids.

Books are hard to come by for kids in some neighborhoods around the U.S. — and that's putting it lightly. A study published in 2001 found that while each kid in a middle-income area had an average 13 books at their disposable, as few as one book was available for every 300 kids in low-income neighborhoods.

Those book deserts can play a big role in shaping young people's lives, according to Kristine Huson, director of marketing and communications at Little Free Library.

"[Reading can be] the cornerstone to someone having a successful life," she said. That's why the organization works with schools and police departments that are focused on community engagement to put books into the hands of kids who otherwise may not get the chance to read for fun.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on

But don't fret, grownups: Little Free Libraries are for you, too!

While the nonprofit aims to make books more accessible for children, they are also quick to point out the benefits Little Free Libraries offer everyone. Reading, for example, can significantly reduce stress and ward off cognitive decline as we grow older, Huson said.

It can also act as a neighborhood icebreaker. In fact, one communal box of books can transform an entire neighborhood.

"People have said, 'I put a Little Free Library up, and I met more neighbors in a week than I've met in 10 years of home ownership,'" Huson said.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


If you decide to build or buy your own Little Free Library, make it official through the organization. This way, your library will be added to the organization's world map, which pinpoints exactly where anyone can find a Little Free Library.

You'll also get a sweet charter sign confirming your library is part of the global network on top of other cool perks.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on



Isn't it refreshing to know that even in a world with iPhones and flatscreens, sharing a copy of your favorite book can still make a big difference? *sigh*

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One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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Courtesy of Tory Burch

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This March marks one year since the start of the pandemic… and it's been an incredibly difficult year: Over 500,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs. But the pandemic's economic downturn has been disproportionately affecting women because they are more likely to work in hard-hit industries, such as hospitality or entertainment, and many of them have been forced to leave their jobs due to the lack of childcare.

But throughout all that hardship, women have, over and over again, found ways to help one another and solve problems.

"Around the world, women have stepped up and found ways to help where it is needed most," says Tory Burch, an entrepreneur who started her own business in 2004.

Burch knows a thing or two about empowering women: After seeing the many obstacles that women in business face — even before the pandemic — she created the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009 to empower women entrepreneurs.

And now, for International Women's Day, her company is launching a global campaign with Upworthy to celebrate the women around the world who give back and create real change in their communities.

"I hope the creativity and resilience of these women, and the amazing ways they have found to have real impact, will inspire and energize others as much as they have me," Burch says.

This year's Empowered Women certainly are inspiring:

Shalini SamtaniCourtesy of Shalini Samtani

Take, for example, Shalini Samtani. When her daughter was diagnosed with a rare immune disorder, she spent a lot of time in the hospital, which caused her to quickly realize that there wasn't a single company in the toy industry servicing the physical or emotional needs of the 3 million hospitalized children across America every year. She was determined to change that — so she created The Spread the Joy Foundation to deliver free play kits to pediatric patients all around the country.

Varsha YajmanCourtesy of Varsha Yajman

Varsha Yajman is another one of this year's nominees. She is just 18 years old, and yet she has been diligently fighting to build awareness and action for climate justice for the last seven years by leading school strikes, working as a paralegal with Equity Generations Lawyers, and speaking to CEOs from Siemen's and several big Australian banks at AGMs.

Caitlin MurphyCourtesy of Caitlin Murphy

Caitlin Murphy, meanwhile, stepped up in a big way during the pandemic by pivoting her business — Global Gateway Logistics — to secure and transport over 2 million masks to hospitals and senior care facilities across the country. She also created the Gateway for Good program, which purchased and donated 10,000 KN95 masks for local small businesses, charities, cancer patients and their families, immunocompromised, and churches in the area.

Simone GordonCourtesy of Simone Gordon

Simone Gordon, a domestic violence survivor and single mom, wanted to pay it forward after she received help getting essentials and tuition assistance — so she created the Instagram account @TheBlackFairyGodMotherOfficial and nonprofit to provide direct assistance to families in need. During the pandemic alone, they have raised over $50,000 for families and they have provided emergency assistance — in the form of groceries — for numerous women and families of color.

Victoria SanusiCourtesy of Victoria Sanusi

Victoria Sanusi started Black Gals Livin' with her friend Jas and the podcast has been an incredibly powerful way of destigmatizing mental health for numerous listeners. The podcast quickly surpassed a million listens, was featured on Michaela Coel's "I May Destroy You," won podcast of the year at the Brown Sugar Awards, and was named one of Elle Magazine's best podcasts of 2020.

And Upworthy and the Tory Burch are just getting started. They are still searching the globe for more extraordinary women who are making an impact in their communities.

Do you know one? If you do, nominate her now. If she's selected, she could receive $5,000 to give to a nonprofit of her choice through the Tory Burch Foundation. Submissions are being accepted on a rolling basis — and one Empowered woman will be selected each month starting in April.

Nominate her now at www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen.