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tornadoes, kentucky, mayfield

Jim Finch showed up to feed people in the aftermath of a devastating tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky.

After historic tornadoes tore through towns throughout Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois Friday night, people were stunned to see the aftermath in the light of day Saturday morning. The devastation is hard to fathom. Scenes of not just buildings but entire city blocks leveled are hard to take in, but Mayfield, KY, where an entire town was ravaged, has become the viral face of the destruction.

The New York Times shared a video showing the apocalyptic aftermath in Mayfield, home to nearly 10,000 people. It looks like a war zone, or worse. An entire community laid flat.

As messages of support started pouring in and emergency management began the daunting task of figuring out next steps, one man who lived a half-hour away decided to take a boots-on-the-ground approach and help the people of Mayfield in a way that he could.

Jim Finch packed up his grill, loaded up the back of his pickup truck with food and drove to Mayfield to, in his words, "feed the people."

ABC journalist Victor Ordoñez shared a video on Twitter of Finch in the middle of the destruction, standing in front of his grill in disposable gloves, explaining why he was there.

"I know they don't have any electricity, so that means they don't have any restaurants, no running water so I just figured I would do what I could do, show up with some food and some water," he said.

"Jim wore a smile the whole morning," Ordoñez wrote in another tweet. Finch laughed and shook his head when Ordoñez asked if he had a restaurant. "No sir," he said. "It just needed to be done."

Finch brought hamburgers, chicken, sausage, eggs, "just real simple stuff you can have and not worry about making a mess, grab and go type of food," he said.

Humans helping fellow humans in a time of crisis is something we never tire of seeing. People are praising Finch as a hero—a selfless person who saw a need and decided to fill it. In times of extreme crisis, basic needs like food and shelter become more immediate and vital than ever, and for the people who are reeling from their world literally being torn apart, the simple, thoughtful kindness of being handed a warm meal from a stranger is surely appreciated.

Thank you, Jim Finch, for being an example to us all.

If you're looking for ways to help or places to donate to help western Kentuckians recover from the tornado damage, see this post from the Lexington Herald Leader.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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