One man's way of facing homelessness is changing an entire community.

Rex Hohlbein usually starts his Facebook posts with two words stuck together:

needsBOOTS

sendANGELS


needsTENT

loveWINS

His followers know exactly what he means.

In fact, it prompts them to spring into action.

"heartfeltTHANKS." All images from Facing Homelessness, used with permission.

It's all because Rex realized the power of saying "hello" some six years ago.

It was around that time that he, a successful architect, began actually looking up and talking to the people he saw living on the streets every day. The conversations he was having with the homeless and those in need of community assistance were so deep and meaningful, he realized he couldn't let them continue to be invisible to the everyday passersby.

Everyone deserves to be seen and acknowledged.

Rex started a Facebook page called Facing Homelessness that has turned into a movement to spread kindness far and wide.

He regularly posts photos on it and shares stories of people he encounters in the Seattle area who are homeless or in need of assistance.

It's a place to make requests, to provide encouragement, and to show you care. And it's working: Every single ask of his has been fulfilled, no matter if it's been for a bus ticket, boots, socks, gas money, or even a virtual hug.

For instance, take Steve. Steve became homeless after his divorce in 2010. He was in need of a tent.

"needsTENT"

"[Steve's] hoping to get his CDL truck driver license; living homeless though keeps him busy, for money Steve does temp-labor, when we talked he said he was heading downtown to Trades Labor Corporation. Right now Steve is in need of a 2-3 person tent if anyone can drop OFF or ship TO our office: Facing Homelessness c/o Steve 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle WA 98105. THANKS!!!"

Done.

Or take Anthony. He was in need of boots.

"needsBOOTS"

"[Anthony's] been homeless pretty much after getting out of the military, has a team of folks trying to help him with head-issues, lost his DSHS food-stamps five months ago, was told he needs to start the process over, says he just can't do that. Anthony is a gentle soft-spoken man, one that you immediately like and want to get to know more. He's in need of new boots, his are falling apart. I asked him if he has a preference, he said best would be desert summer combat boots, size 13. With tax they are around $150.00. If (15) of us pitch in $10 we can make this happen on Monday for Anthony, here is the PayPal link. THANKS so much."

Mission accomplished.

The requests aren't always for items. Sometimes they're praise to show how proud the community is. Like when Alex got his GED.

"gotGED"

"Just taking a BEAUTIFUL moment to say how unbelievably proud we are of Alex. While living homeless out of his car with Karina, he's been holding down a job and AND studying to get his GED. This last Friday Alex called and said, 'I did it, I passed all of the exams for my GED!' Makes me tear up just writing it here, all the struggles this young man has had to go through to get here, it's a really REALLY beautiful thing he is doing for himself."

The compassion shown by complete strangers online has been incredible.

"I’ve been doing this for six years now and it’s pretty crazy how every single request has been met by our community of more than 34,000 supporters, usually within a few hours," Rex told Upworthy.

A small snapshot of the stories you can read over at Facing Homelessness.

It helps to build an awareness about our relationship to homelessness and the role we play in our own communities.

"As a community of compassion we can face homelessness by choosing to see the beauty of [the] person in front of us rather than the issue that overwhelms us," Rex says on his site. "We can give empathy a voice, trusting in our own creativity and compassion to find the answer that fits each moment of interaction."

The movement isn't trying to fix anyone or tell anyone how to live their life. It's simply about adding love into the equation. Every single person functions better when they feel loved.

"needsTENT"

"turningCORNERS"

"pleaseHELP"

We can all make a difference for others. Start by just saying "hello."

"It'll help get things started, to just move forward genuinely from the heart," Rex says. "From there, who knows, that might be all it becomes, or perhaps you just found your new best friend!"

Give it a shot sometime. You never know the impact you might have.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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