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Most people throw away tons of flowers after their wedding. She puts them back to work.

Why let good flowers go to waste? She made it her mission to recycle discarded wedding flowers, and the result is beautiful.

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Shawn Chamberlain was tending the gardens at a hospice care facility one day when she noticed something unusual about one of the patients.

The woman, standing on a nearby patio, caught her off guard. Most of the patients Shawn had seen at the facility were older; hospice care is typically for those who are given six months or less to live, after all.

But this patient was young — a young mother.


A young mother herself, Shawn felt compelled to do something for the woman. Looking down and seeing the flowers in the garden, she quickly clipped a few and had a charge nurse deliver them to the patient.

Gathering up some love. Image via Rogue Heart Media.

In addition to being beautiful, flowers may actually lift people's moods.

According to a 2005 research study at Rutgers University, every single person who received flowers as part of an experiment had a positive response. Every. Single. Person.

Admit it: Flowers make you feel loved, special, adored, and remembered. Image via Shawn Chamberlain.

As a landscape designer, Shawn had seen the power of flowers to bring people delight. In that moment, she knew she wanted to bring flowery happiness to other people. But not just anyone: long-term care patients, people who could really use a few moments of unexpected joy.

There was only one problem — where on Earth could she obtain a massive amount of flowers without going completely broke in the process?

If you've ever had to buy flowers for any event, you know they're, uh, not cheap. Shawn was a young mom of five kids — not a millionaire by any stretch.

But then it came to her: weddings.

Wedding flowers — gorgeous, expensive, and only used for one day. Image via Shawn Chamberlain.

Weddings are a treasure trove of floral arrangements, bouquets, and other lovely things ... that often go straight in the trash once the event is over.

Shawn started making calls around town to wedding planners, event spaces, florists, anyone who dealt in bulk flowers. Amazingly, there was no hesitation; people were on board. The Full Bloom was born.

Flowers. Flowers everywhere! Image via Shawn Chamberlain.

Brides and grooms really took to the idea, thrilled that they could use their time of joy and happiness to give back. (All without a lot of effort because, as we know, weddings are super stressful!)

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something recycled! Image via Shawn Chamberlain.

Another cool thing? Through postings to The Full Bloom's Facebook page, donors can be connected with the receivers.

As Shawn put it, "They can see their flowers (through posting) actually go somewhere."

Brides, grooms, and other donors get to see how their contribution has brightened someone's day. And patients know someone was thinking of them and that, for a moment, they're feeling a little better because, you know, science.

Volunteers of all ages get involved and deliver arrangements to long-term care facilities. Image via Shawn Chamberlain.

To find out more about The Full Bloom and recycling the love, check out this video from Rogue Heart Media.

[vimeo_embed https://player.vimeo.com/video/76064995?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0 expand=1]

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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