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PHOTO: 'I Won't Be Silent Any Longer'

Trigger warning: What follows is a story of sexual assault; it is not graphic but may affect some readers.

PHOTO: 'I Won't Be Silent Any Longer'

At the age of 18, Ruth Moore eagerly joined the Navy, only to be raped twice by her supervisor two and a half months into her first assignment. She writes that this assault "result[ed] in a life filled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, a sexually transmitted disease, miscarriages, suicide attempts, homelessness, an end to [her] marriage, and terror [she has] lived with ever since."

What's worse? The Department of Veterans Affairs repeatedly denied her disability benefits for PTSD that she was entitled to by law, and it wouldn’t correct its errors, even when they were first addressed over 19 years ago, in 1993.





The VA has the authority to make a simple regulatory change so that Military Sexual Trauma survivors aren’t held to a higher standard of proof than other veterans with PTSD. Please sign Ruth's petition asking the VA to revise its policy immediately. Ensure that all regional offices follow the same standards when processing MST and PTSD claims so that veterans like Ruth do not have to live the rest of their lives in pain — or worse, take their own lives.

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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.