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NBA star J.J. Barea took the team jet down to Puerto Rico on a humanitarian mission home.

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, he was looking for ways to help out.

NBA star J.J. Barea took the team jet down to Puerto Rico on a humanitarian mission home.

Dallas Mavericks point guard  J.J. Barea recently asked his boss, Mark Cuban, for a huge favor. He needed to borrow the team plane.

Without hesitation, Cuban gave Barea the go ahead and with good reason: Barrea needed to get to Puerto Rico to help his family and bring supplies for others stranded on the hurricane-ravaged island.

Barea celebrates a basket during a 2015 game. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.


Carrying along 32 generators, 7 tons of water, 5 tons of food, and 1.5 tons of medical supplies, Barea set off for his home of Puerto Rico the morning of Sept. 26, 2017.

Surveying the damage from the air and on the ground, Barea was shocked by the level of devastation left by Hurricane Maria.

"It's like a bomb exploded," he told the CBS affiliate in Dallas with tears welled up in his eyes.

GIF from CBSDFW/YouTube.

Originally, Barea and his wife, Viviana, set out to crowdfund assistance for people on the ground in Puerto Rico — something people who want to do can still donate to. However, when the opportunity to make the trip down there himself came up, he jumped at the chance. His mother and grandmother, both on the island when Maria hit, rode back in the plane with Barea as did some friends and even a few complete strangers in need.

He's planning on making another trip in the next few days to drop off more supplies and offer on-the-ground assistance of his own.

Barea lands in Puerto Rico. Photo via CBSDFW/YouTube.

Puerto Ricans are our fellow Americans, and they need our help.

The majority of the island's 3.4 million residents were still without power as of Sept. 26, and many still don't even have access to clean drinking water. Our president doesn't seem entirely invested in getting them the help they need, and a number of bureaucratic hurdles — such as the Jones Act — exist that prevent those of us itching to help out from doing so.

Some, like Barea (via Cuban, of course) and Pitbull, have access to private planes they can use to help out during the crisis, but most of us don't. Thankfully, Melissa Locker over at Fast Company put together a quick list of things you, personally, can do and organizations you can support if you want to help those whose lives have been devastated by the storm.

"Puerto Rico, for me, is everything." GIF from CBSDFW/YouTube.

Watch the Dallas-Fort Worth CBS news affiliate's report on Barea's trip below.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

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via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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