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Remember that pizzeria that was feeding the homeless? See what happened when you shared their story.

If you were one of many who shared this story, here's what you helped make possible.

You may recall the story of Rosa's Fresh Pizza from the first time we covered it back in March 2015.

The Philadelphia-based eatery is making sure kindness isn't just a slogan in the City of Brotherly Love. They invite customers to pay it forward by pre-purchasing $1 slices of pizza for homeless patrons.

And people happily chip in.


Our interview with Mason Wartman, owner of Rosa's, and some of his customers was viewed over 35 million times on Facebook alone.

And you, Internet, took a page out of the pay-it-forward playbook, sharing the story over 800,000 times!

Scroll down to watch the interview.

Since then, Wartman says, business at Rosa's has been picking up steam.

His email update four months later had us smiling ear-to-ear:

"It has been more than three months since you posted our story on Upworthy. It's been a CRAZY past couple months, but the business is both making more money and helping WAY more people than ever before."
—Mason Wartman

As of June 2015...

  • Rosa's has given away more than 23,000 slices (a 130% increase in just four months!) and is providing meals free of charge to up to 100 people on any given day.
  • The uptick in business means Wartman needs more employees. And true to Rosa's pay-it-forward spirit, he's hiring through agencies that connect homeless folks with jobs.
  • And they've even started selling official Rosa's apparel, which features designs by homeless artists. Half of all the revenue goes right back to supporting Philly's homeless community through pay-it-forward pizza. So far, T-shirt sales have funded a full 10% of donated slices.

"Making life a little easier to BEAR, one slice at a time!" Photos courtesy of Mason Wartman.

That's why theirs is a story worth sharing over and over again.

Not only does it generate more attention for this really great program (which in turn generates more food for the homeless), but it sends a powerful and unexpected message:

Business can thrive on kindness.

If this is the first time you're hearing about Rosa's, check out our interview with Wartman. And of course, pay it forward and pass it on.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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