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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Joy

Pottery artist leaves gorgeous, handmade bowls in random places for people to stumble upon

Imagine coming across one of these gorgeous gifts.

art, pottery, travel

Kim Press drops free art in random places for unsuspecting wanderers to find.

Imagine you're hiking out in the red rocks of Moab, Utah, or taking a stroll down the beach in Key West, Florida, when you come across a gorgeous piece of glazed pottery. No one is around, just a beautiful, hand-carved bowl sitting with an envelope next to it that reads:

FREE ART

This bowl was left here for someone to find and keep. If it doesn't speak to you, leave it for someone else to find, or take it and give it to a friend. I only ask that it be enjoyed, and if you like, you can let me know where it ends up. (Contact details inside.)

Love, Kim


Kim Press is an artist from Texas who shares her pieces under the name Sailing Adrift Studios. When she travels, she takes a piece with her to leave for a random, unsuspecting person to find. Lucky wanderers in 36 states and two countries have come across Press' pottery "free art drops" and gotten to take home an unexpected artistic treasure from their own travels.

And these aren't any old bowls. Check out how absolutely stunning these pieces are:

Press recently shared a video highlighting some of the pieces she's dropped, and every single one of them would be an incredible gift.

"To say that I am proud of these numbers is an understatement," she wrote. "In my wildest dreams, I could never imagine how much taking a pottery class and playing in mud would change my life…. And it just goes to show that if you travel far enough, eventually you will find yourself."

People who find Press' pottery let her know where the pieces ended up, and half the fun of it is seeing how far they travel. She put a page on her website where she shares the pieces' "found" stories, such as the bowl she left in Santa Monica, California, making its home in Spain, a bowl she left in Tucson finding its way to China and a piece found in Pennsylvania ending up in Mexico. Sometimes she leaves them in hiking spots in the wilderness. Sometimes she drops them in the middle of a city. Some pieces have stayed in the states she dropped them and others have traveled across the country or the world.

People who have found them have shared how much joy their discovery brought them:

"Just wanted to drop you a note to say that I picked up your 'Free Art' in the park in Fairhope during my last day of my Snowbird stay (January and February) in Orange Beach. While I was in Orange Beach, a dear friend fell and broke her hip and I wanted to get her something to take back. When I say your beautiful bowl, I knew it would touch her heart. Thank you so much for your generosity. She absolutely loved it."


"Dear Kim , Today I found a wonderful surprise, we were at Ft. Zach for my grandson's 5th birthday party and found this on our table, my first thought was ..why is this here? Then I read the card and was speechless... How incredibly lucky I am to have such a precious gift. You are an amazing , talented person. Thank you so much , this will be something I will pass on to my grandchildren. I wish you nothing but the best!"

"Found this incredible gem today. It makes me happy how people are so passionate about their gifts and talents that they would want to share it with the world. Thank you."

Some people have even started looking for the pieces when Press does an art drop announcement, alerting friends and family if the drop is near where they live. A woman who found a bowl in Boise, Idaho, wrote:

"My friend follows you and today she shared your profile with our friend group. We all followed your page and on my way home from work she called me and sent me on an adventure. I squealed when I found it. Thank you so much!! Keep on keeping on."

And a group in Lago Vista, Texas, shared:

“Our out of state guests were about to do a polar plunge in our pool when they saw your post and decided to go art drop hunting instead... so exciting!!!”

Everyone who found pieces shared how much gratitude they felt upon finding them.

Check out the Sailing Adrift Studios website to see where Press has left her free art so far, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram to see where the next art drop happens.

Thank you, Kim Press, for bringing joy not only to the people who happen upon your artwork, but also to those of us living vicariously through them. (I really need one of those bowls!)

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

A semicolon tattoo


Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo like the one above?

If not, you may not be looking close enough. They're popping up...

Semicolon Tattoo

Semicolon Tattoo

Photo by The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

...everywhere.

Photo by The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

That's right: the semicolon. It's a tattoo that has gained popularity in recent years, but unlike other random or mystifying trends, this one has a serious meaning behind it. (And no, it's not just the mark of a really committed grammar nerd.)

The semicolon tattoo represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.


Photo by The Semicolon Tattoo Project.


Project Semicolon was born from a social media movement in 2013.

They describe themselves as a "movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire."

But why a semicolon?

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life."

Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. Today, people all over the world are tattooing the mark as a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival.

Photos by The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

I spoke with Jenn Brown and Jeremy Jaramillo of The Semicolon Tattoo Project, an organization inspired by the semicolon movement. Along with some friends, Jenn and Jeremy saw an opportunity to both help the community and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

In 2012, over 43 million Americans dealt with a mental illness. Mental illness is not uncommon, yet there is a stigma around it that prevents a lot of people from talking about it — and that's a barrier to getting help.

More conversations that lead to less stigma? Yes please.

"[The tattoo] is a conversation starter," explains Jenn. "People ask what it is and we get to tell them the purpose."

"I think if you see someone's tattoo that you're interested in, that's fair game to start a conversation with someone you don't know," adds Jeremy. "It provides a great opportunity to talk. Tattoos are interesting — marks we put on our bodies that are important to us."

In 2014, The Semicolon Tattoo Project held an event at several tattoo shops where people could get a semicolon tattoo for a flat rate. "That money was a fundraiser for our crisis center," said Jenn. In total, over 400 people received semicolon tattoos in one day. Even better, what began as a local event has spread far and wide, and people all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos.

And it's not just about the conversation — it's about providing tangible support and help too.

Jenn and Jeremy work with the Agora Crisis Center. Founded in 1970, it's one of the oldest crisis centers in the country. Through The Semicolon Tattoo Project, they've been able to connect even more people with the help they need during times of crisis. (If you need someone to talk to, scroll to the end of the article for the center's contact information.)

So next time you see this small punctuation tattoo, remember the words of Upworthy writer Parker Molloy:

"I recently decided to get a semicolon tattoo. Not because it's trendy (though, it certainly seems to be at the moment), but because it's a reminder of the things I've overcome in my life. I've dealt with anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria for the better part of my life, and at times, that led me down a path that included self-harm and suicide attempts.

But here I am, years later, finally fitting the pieces of my life together in a way I never thought they could before. The semicolon (and the message that goes along with it) is a reminder that I've faced dark times, but I'm still here."

No matter how we get there, the end result is so important: help and support for more people to also be able to say " I'm still here."

If you want to see more incredible semicolon tattoos, check out nine photos and stories that our readers shared with us!


This article was written by Laura Willard and originally appeared on 7.7.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Science

32 years separate this before and after of a beautiful Washington forest. Take a look.

Our relationship with our planet can be mutually beneficial if we commit ourselves to sustainability.

A return to green over decades.


Douglas Scott grew up on Washington's Olympic Peninsula in the dying shadow of the timber industry that had supported the region for decades.

"Nearly every home had a bright orange or yellow sign reading 'This home supported by timber dollars,'" Scott wrote on Outdoor Society.


While the region has also been recognized for its succulent seafood, temperate climate, and stunning natural formations, nothing shaped the community — or the physical landscape — quite like logging did.

rebuilding, Olympic Peninsula, logging

Logging repercussions felt on the Olympic Peninsula.

Olympic Peninsula, circa 1972. Photo from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The tension in the air between the loggers and the environmentalists throughout the 1980s was thicker than the trees being cut down.

"I heard from old timers in the Harbor about how environmentalists were ruining the region, and I was told by environmentalists that loggers were killing everything in sight," Scott recalled.

But to understand the full impact of deforestation on the region, it helps to take the bird's eye view.

Here's a satellite image of the Olympic Peninsula from 1984. The white region in the center are the mountaintops in Olympic National Park; you'll also notice the grey and brown areas along the western and northern coasts of the peninsula.

satellite images, deforestation, tourism

Satellite image of deforestation on the region of the Olympic Peninsula.

Screenshot via GoogleEarth Engine.

"When I moved away from the area in 1997, there wasn't much of a logging or mill economy in dozens of towns around the region," Scott said.

By that time, tourism had begun to take the place of timber as the region's major industry — which was probably helped along by the fact that the trees were slowly but surely starting to recover, enhancing the already stunning vistas that drew visitors.

Here's how the Olympic Peninsula looked by the time that Scott and his family left the area; you'll notice the western and northern coasts are just a little bit greener than they were 13 years prior...

recovery, ecology, healing

Some green coming back.

Screenshot via GoogleEarth Engine.

Those great green arbors continued their gradual recovery into the 2000s...

trees, parks, Google Earth

More forest returns to the peninsula.

Screenshot via GoogleEarth Engine.

And they're still going today.

ecosystem, timber, wood

And still more green comes back.

Screenshot via GoogleEarth Engine.

But those isolated moments don't tell the whole story of the region's recovery. It's even more remarkable when you can see it in action...

habitat, climate change, going green

Olympic Peninsula demonstrating the power of nature.

GIF via GoogleEarth Engine.

We don't always notice the world changing right before our eyes, but the decades-long view of the Olympic Peninsula shows the true power of nature.

It's not just the trees, either; according to Scott, the replenished forests have also had a positive impact on the local salmon population and other treasured natural resources.

erosion, growth, wildlife, earth

Mother Nature doing her thing.

Left photo from Records of the Environmental Protection Agency; Right, by Miguel Vieira/Flickr.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't use the natural world, of course. We still need wood, for example, but now we know there are sustainable ways to use it without recklessly damaging to the planet.

The Earth was built to take care of itself. We just need to let Mother Nature do her thing.


This article originally appeared on 12.22.16

A young girl relaxing in an inner tube.


There’s a popular trend where parents often share they are creating “core memories” for their children on social media posts, whether it’s planning an elaborate vacation or creating an extra-special holiday moment.

While it’s important for parents to want their kids to have happy childhoods, sometimes it feels presumptuous when they believe they can manufacture a core memory. Especially when a child’s inner world is so much different than an adult's.

Carol Kim, a mother of 3 and licensed Marriage and family Therapist, known as ParentingResilience on Instagram, recently shared the “5 Things Kids Will Remember from Their Childhood” on her page. The fascinating insight is that none of the entries had to do with extravagant vacations, over-the-top birthday parties, or Christmas gifts that kids could only dream about.


According to Kim, the five things that kids will remember all revolve around their parents' presence and support. "Notice how creating good memories doesn’t require expensive toys or lavish family trips. Your presence is the most valuable present you can give to your child,” Kim wrote in the post’s description.

1. Quality time together

"Taking some time to focus only on your child is very special. Playing games, reading books, or just talking can create strong, happy memories. These moments show your child that you are present with them."

2. Words of encouragement

"Encouraging words can greatly impact your child during both good times and tough times. Kids often seek approval from their parents and your positive words can be a strong motivator and source of comfort.... It can help kids believe in themselves, giving them the confidence to take on new challenges and keep going when things get tough."

parenting, core memories, quality time

A mother and child riding a small bike.

via Gustavo Fring/Pexels

3. Family traditions

“It creates a feeling of stability and togetherness … Family traditions make children feel like they belong and are part of a larger story, deepening their sense of security and understanding of family identity and values.”

4. Acts of kindness

“Seeing and doing kind things leaves a strong impression on children. It shows them the importance of being kind and caring. They remember how good it feels to help others and to see their parents helping too.”

5. Comfort during tough times

"Knowing they can rely on you during tough times makes them feel secure and build trust. … Comforting them when they're struggling shows them they are loved no matter what, helping them feel emotionally secure and strong."

parenting, core memories, quality time

A family making a meal together.

via Elina Fairytale/Pexels

Kim’s strategies are all beautiful ways to be present in our children’s lives and to communicate our support. However, these seemingly simple behaviors can be challenging for some parents who are dealing with issues stemming from their pasts.

“If you find barriers to providing these things, it’s important to reflect on why,” Kim writes in the post. “There could be several reasons, such as parenting in isolation (we’re not meant to parent alone), feeling overstimulated, dealing with past trauma, or struggling with mental health. Recognizing these challenges is the first step to addressing them and finding support.”

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Researchers studied African elephants in Kenya to see if they have individual names.

Elephants are unique among animals in so many ways. Their massive size, of course. Their funky trunks that function like a fifth limb as well as a literal hose. The fact that they weigh thousands of pounds but can walk almost completely silently. Their high intelligence and complex social behaviors.

And now, apparently, their individualized "names."

New research from Kenya indicates that elephants may have something akin to human names, which they use to communicate directly to specific members of their herd. According to Reuters, elephant researchers had noticed over the years that sometimes an elephant would make a vocalization to a group and all the elephants would respond, but sometimes the same elephant would make a similar call to the group, but only one elephant would respond—almost as if it had been called by name.


Researchers studied the vocalizations of 100 African savannah elephants in Amboseli National Park and Samburu National Reserve to see if they could determine whether or not that's what was actually happening. Using a machine-learning model, they identified vocalizations that appeared to be tied to specific individuals, then tested them on 17 elephants whose "names" they may have discovered.

Sure enough, when a vocalization that the model had identified as being addressed to a specific elephant was played on audio, that elephant responded by moving toward the audio source and behaving more enthusiastically, making more vocalizations in return, than when a vocalization that was apparently directed toward someone else was played.

“They could tell if a call was addressed to them just by hearing that call,” said behavioral ecologist and lead study author Mickey Pardo of Cornell University (formerly of Colorado State University).


According to the study published in the Nature Ecology and Evolution journal, this kind of name usage is rare in the animal world. Bottlenose dolphins and orange-fronted parrots will call individuals with specific sounds, but they do so by simply mimicking the calls of the animal they're addressing. That's not what the elephants appear to be doing.

"Instead, their names seem to be arbitrary, like human names," Pardo said, according to Reuters. "Addressing individuals with arbitrary names likely requires a capacity for some degree of abstract thought."

adult and baby elephant in a field

Mothers appear to call their calves by name.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Part of what makes studying elephant vocalizations tricky is the range of sounds they make. We often associate elephants with a loud trumpet-like sound, but Pardo said the name vocalizations are found in the lower, rumbling noises they make.

“The rumbles themselves are highly structurally variable,” said Pardo, who conducted the research while working at Colorado State University, according to NPR. “There's quite a lot of variation in their acoustic structure.”

One of the most common usages of elephant names discovered in the study were from mother elephants to their calves, seemingly to calm them down or check in with them. But Pardo told NPR that while they knew the vocalizations they played were directed at specific individuals, they weren't able to isolate the actual "names" of individual elephants from the vocalizations in the study.

"If we could do that, we could answer a lot of other questions that we weren't able to fully figure out in this study,” Pardo said.

Some of those questions include: Do elephants all use the same "name" when they're addressing the same elephant? Are they names or nicknames? Do elephants talk about each other? Do they say other elephants' names when they're not around?

There are more specific linguistic questions as well. "We still don't know the syntax or basic elements by which elephant vocalizations encode information," Colorado State University conservation biologist and study co-author George Wittemyer told Reuters. "We need to figure that out before we can make deeper progress on understanding them."

What the study found does indicate, however, is that elephants are even more mentally and socially sophisticated than we thought.

"Certainly, in order to address one another in this way, elephants must learn to associate particular sounds with particular individuals and then use those sounds to get the attention of the individual in question, which requires sophisticated learning ability and understanding of social relationships," Pardo said, according to Reuters. "The fact that elephants address one another as individuals highlights the importance of social bonds—and specifically, maintaining many different social bonds—for these animals."



Pop Culture

Heroic sanitation workers save abducted, 10-year-old girl while on their trash route

"I was just doing my job man. I was just doing my job and actually came across somebody who needed help."

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

At 1:30 am on a Monday morning in February, an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.


The sanitation workers thought it was suspicious that a silver sedan was parked alone in a field in St. Martin Parish.

"Something told me, like just look, I said what is that car doing in that field like that? What the car doing? Guess what, that's the dude with the little girl," Merrick said in a Facebook Live video. "That's God."

The video has been seen over 1.5 million times since it was posted on Monday morning.

To prevent the possible kidnapper from escaping, they parked the large sanitation truck the wrong way on the highway to "Make sure they couldn't get out," Merrick said. Then, they called 911.

When police arrived they arrested Michael R. Sereal, the man whose car was mentioned in the AMBER Alert. The police were also able to safely recover the girl who appeared unharmed. She was later taken to the hospital to be evaluated by medical personnel.

The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department's online sex offender registry has a Michael Roy Sereal but authorities wouldn't confirm it's the same man.

assets.rebelmouse.io

The young girls' family got in touch with the two men who saved her and have shown amazing gratitude. "I'm just so happy and blessed that I have actually seen the car and we actually responded like we were supposed to respond," Merrick told KHOU.

Merrick hopes that his actions will inspire others to be proactive as well. "Don't be scared if you see something. If you know something is wrong, report it," Merrick said. "Call authorities because it could save someone's life."

via Office of the Louisiana Attorney general

The two men were applauded by the St. John Parish's Sheriff, who offered to buy them lunch.

"I was just doing my job man. I was just doing my job and actually came across somebody who needed help," Merrick said. "Got me tearing up."

The AMBER Alert system was created in 1996 after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered while riding her bike in Texas. Since its inception, nearly seven in 10 AMBER alert cases have resulted in children being successfully reunited with their parents.

In 17% of the cases, the child's recovery is a direct result of the alert.

As of December 2020, 1,029 children rescued specifically because of the system.


This article originally appeared on 02.09.21