mackenzie scott planned parenthood

Planned Parenthood 02 - Cleveland Pride 2017

Planned Parenthood announced that MacKenzie Scott has donated a record-breaking amount of $275 million. That’s the single largest donation in Planned Parenthood history.

This is one of the 465 organizations and institutions (including Habitat For Humanity, Boys & Girls Club of America and Urban Teachers, to name a few) that Scott has contributed to as part of her 2019 pledge to donate the majority of her wealth. But as political division continues to threaten access to sexual and reproduction healthcare (all of which Planned Parenthood provides) this action carries a different tone.



In a heartfelt statement written on Medium, Scott clearly conveyed how her decision to donate was beyond anything partisan.

“The increasing stridency of opinions in the news can be divisive. But lately I’ve heard something different in it. Turned up so loud, all I can notice is how similar it all sounds. The universal tendency to shout is an ironic reminder of how much we all have in common, as well as encouraging evidence that we have what we need to solve our shared problems. It’s as if the antidote is right there waiting in all that venom. We are all human. And we all have enormous energy to devote to helping and protecting those we love.”

As her statement continued, Scott mixed logic with heart perfectly while arguing the importance of helping those who are underrepresented.

She pointed out how helping one group helps us all, using the examples of bike lanes meant to protect cyclists also improved property for everyone, seat belt laws made for young children saved lives of all ages and how students of racially diverse schools achieved better learning outcomes.

“Those are just the positive ripple effects that can be easily counted,” she added.

“But the trend line is clear. Communities with a habit of removing obstacles for different subsets of people tend to get better for everyone.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, wrote in a statement that the money would go toward improving health equity for patients of color by eliminating racial and structural barriers in the community.

She also reiterated the fact that Planned Parenthood is a critical part of the public health infrastructure.

This is incredibly important to remember as the organization is under fire for providing abortions, which only account for a portion of the provided services. Though there is much dispute over just how large that portion is, the fact is PP still helps provide birth control, contraceptives and healthcare to many who would not have it otherwise. This includes LGBT services like hormone therapy for transgender patients, another historically marginalized group currently facing crisis.

Scott’s act of kindness is philanthropy at its best. At a time when so many hard-won freedoms feel at risk, or when the constant chatter of derision drowns out hope for the future, it’s a gentle yet powerful reminder that generosity chooses no sides. It only exists to bring us together by placing everyone on equal ground. There is tremendous and exponential value to be gained (for everyone) by investing in people.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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