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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.

Kristen Bell announces This Saves Lives new partnership with Upworthy.

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Every day, Upworthy shares stories that spotlight the very best of humanity. But if there’s one cause that unites us all, it’s solving child hunger.

In a recent poll of our followers, we found that child hunger is the issue they care about most. So today, we’re doing something about it. We’ve joined forces with humanitarian snack brand This Saves Lives to end child hunger.

This Saves Lives co-founder, actress Kristen Bell.

This Saves Lives was founded in 2013 with the goal of ending early childhood severe acute malnutrition. Its solution is simple, for every snack you purchase, they give life-saving food to a child in need. This Saves Lives has already donated over 30 million packets of lifesaving food in Haiti, Guatemala, Kenya and beyond. We hope our new partnership works to feed millions more.

“Will you join us? It’s easy and delicious.” — Kristen Bell.

Join us and explore delicious snacks that give back at thissaveslives.com/doinggoodtogether.

Identity

Gay choir teacher breaks down when his class gives a surprise performance at his wedding

Christopher Landis had kept his marriage secret because he wasn't sure how students or parents would react.

via Pexels

Two men exchanging rings in a wedding ceremony.

Christopher Landis, a choir director at Hingham Middle School in Massachusetts, didn’t tell his students he was engaged to Joe Michienzie three years ago. According to Inside Edition, whenever they asked who Michienzie was, Christopher would say, "That's Joe. He's my friend."

Landis kept his relationship a secret in front of his students because he wasn’t sure how their parents would react. Sadly, even today, LGBTQ people still have to be discreet about their personal lives in some professions.

This is sad for the teachers who have to stay closeted and also for the LGBTQ students who miss out on having a positive role model.

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This is the most important van in NYC… and it’s full of socks.

How can socks make such a huge difference? You'd be surprised.

all photos provided by Coalition for The Homeless

Every night, the van delivers nourishment in all kinds of ways to those who need it most

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Homelessness in New York City has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Over 50,000 people sleep each night in a shelter, while thousands of others rely on city streets, the subway system and other public locations as spaces to rest.

That’s why this meal (and sock) delivery van is an effective resource for providing aid to those experiencing homelessness in New York City.

Every night of the year, from 7pm to 9:30, the Coalition for the Homeless drives a small fleet of vans to over 25 stops throughout upper and lower Manhattan and in the Bronx. At each stop, adults and families in need can receive a warm meal, a welcoming smile from volunteers, and a fresh, comfy new pair of Bombas socks. Socks may be even more important than you think.

Bombas was founded in 2013 after the discovery that socks were the #1 most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.

Access to fresh, clean socks is often limited for individuals experiencing homelessness—whether someone is living on the street and walking for much of the day, or is unstably housed without reliable access to laundry or storage. And for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness —expenses might need to be prioritized for more critical needs like food, medication, school supplies, or gas. Used socks can’t be donated to shelters for hygienic reasons, making this important item even more difficult to supply to those who need it the most.

Bombas offers its consumers durable, long-lasting and comfortable socks, and for every pair of Bombas socks purchased, an additional pair of specially-designed socks is donated to organizations supporting those in need, like Coalition for the Homeless. What started out as a simple collaboration with a few organizations and nonprofits to help individuals without housing security has quickly become a bona fide giving movement. Bombas now has approximately 3,500 Giving Partners nationwide.

Though every individual’s experience is unique, there can frequently be an inherent lack of trust of institutions that want to help—making a solution even more challenging to achieve. “I’ve had people reach out when I’m handing them a pair of socks and their hands are shaking and they’re looking around, and they’re wondering ‘why is this person being nice to me?’” Robbi Montoya—director at Dorothy Day House, another Giving Partner—told Bombas.

Donations like socks are a small way to create connection. And they can quickly become something much bigger. Right now over 1,000 people receive clothing and warm food every night, rain or shine, from a Coalition for the Homeless van. That bit of consistent kindness during a time of struggle can help offer the feeling of true support. This type of encouragement is often crucial for organizations to help those take the next difficult steps towards stability.

This philosophy helped Bombas and its abundance of Giving Partners extend their reach beyond New York City. Over 75 million clothing items have been donated to those who need it the most across all 50 states. Over the years Bombas has accumulated all kinds of valuable statistics, information, and highlights from Giving Partners similar to the Coalition for the Homeless vans and Dorothy Day House, which can be found in the Bombas Impact Report.

In the Impact Report, you’ll also find out how to get involved—whether it’s purchasing a pair of Bombas socks to get another item donated, joining a volunteer group, or shifting the conversation around homelessness to prioritize compassion and humanity.

To find out more, visit BeeBetter.com.

Kristan Toczko is a renowned Canadian harpist who delights audiences with musical mashups.

The harp is the oldest known stringed instrument, dating back at least to the 1200s, and variations of the harp can be found all around the world.

It's simultaneously one of the easiest and hardest instruments to play. Like the piano, a harp's strings are each individual notes that are already in tune, so unlike a violin or cello, you can't hit any slightly off-key notes. To play the harp, you simply pluck the strings, so learning to perform a simple tune doesn't require a great amount of skill.

However, to play the harp at a high level is difficult. A full-sized harp's 47 strings are placed very close together, so the margins of error are tiny. The precision needed to play a complex piece without hitting any wrong strings is intense, and it takes a lot of time and practice to create the muscle memory necessary to play the harp well.

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A map of the United States post land-ice melt.

This article originally appeared on 12.08.15


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

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