Presenting a refreshingly new way to help keep people from poverty and homelessness

They begin this video with a request:

"Tell me about your kids."


And the people who follow do exactly that.

People like Christina, who got pregnant at 18. Everybody told her that her life was going to end, that she'd always be stuck in minimum-wage jobs. But she pulled herself up, with help from LIFT. She's now an advocate for the nonprofit, and as she tells it, "I work with [the members]. I don't make them feel like they're in this word alone."

Teaser: Her adorable kid shows up near the end of the clip. Well, OK. Here he is:


All images via LIFT.

LIFT is a member-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people get out of the cycle of poverty and into a place where they can excel, grow, and learn.

People like Kelsey, who ended up working there:

Currently, LIFT is active in six major cities: New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

The problem they're trying to fix?

The problem is made worse by the system itself.


LIFT takes a three-pronged approach to working with its members in creating that foundation:

1. Personal
People arrive at LIFT near the end of their rope, sometimes beat down to a point where getting back up is an insurmountable challenge. The staff at LIFT helps folks build the self-confidence they need to get back out into the world on their terms, through things like mock interviews, strength assessments, and access to learning new skills.

2. Social
Support networks are huge: family members, advocates, and friends who know what you need, when you need it. When you lose those for whatever reasons — a crucial part of your safety net is lost, too. LIFT helps people build and rebuild these support networks to function, grow, and survive.

3. Financial
People near or in poverty find themselves with fewer and fewer financial resources to go around, and it's like a dead end … or a vortex that eventually pulls them down into oblivion. In combination with the other two pillars — social and personal — the financial piece is crucial to helping members find jobs, safe homes, and access to decent education for their kids so they can flourish.

What this means is that, over time, a LIFT member builds a set of skills and develops access to resources that help them stay out of the hard times in the future.

Why is it important to build that foundation?

Let's let some of those who have lived it say more.

"We are different at LIFT because we are putting humanity at the center of our work. We are with our Members every step of the way. We listen. We cry together. We celebrate together. Because we believe that all people, regardless of income, deserve the same things to get ahead, we make sure that every Member who walks through our doors are treated with dignity and respect, have networks to tap into, and have a partner with whom to work hard on to achieve goals." — Patience Peabody, Vice President of Communications & Creative at LIFT

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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