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Julia Foos saw a need in her community, so she decided to fill it.

For the 17-year-old bookworm, the idea that some kids don’t have any books of their own is unfathomable — and unacceptable. When Foos was 14 and a freshman in high school, she read an article about how many children in the Cleveland area don't have easy access to books. That reality lit a fire in her to do something.

"I think that kids who don't have access to books are missing out on opportunities to learn new things, explore different worlds, and increase the use of their imagination," says Foos. "Books can pull you into another world or teach you things you might never have thought of before."


Foos couldn't imagine having grown up without books, so she decided to help kids in the Cleveland area get books of their own.

So excited to be working on a special project this month! At the end of March I am donating a bookcase filled with...

Posted by Books Offer Opportunities for Kids on Thursday, March 1, 2018

Her Books Offer Opportunities for Kids (BOOK) project has collected and donated 25,000 books — in just three years.

"When I started this project, my goal was to collect 250 books," says Foos. "I reached out to family and friends, and after two weeks, I had collected over 500. It felt good and I thought that if I collected that many in two weeks, I wanted to try to collect more."

She set an ambitious goal to collect 25,000 books — a hundred times her original goal — by her senior year. She reached it a year early. Her secret? A personal touch. Foos reaches out to individuals, schools, and organizations and asks for donations of new or gently used books.

One she gets them, she passes them on to literacy organizations like Reach Out and Read,Cleveland Kids' Book Bank, and United Way's Stuff the Bus with Books campaign. "I wanted to get as many books as possible to kids who needed them. I donate the books to nonprofits that share this same mission."

Reading to kids and helping them pick out books to keep is the best. They get so excited to get books of their own!

Posted by Books Offer Opportunities for Kids on Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Foos engages with the community she's serving — by reading with them, of course.

When she first started her project, it was just about collecting and donating books. But now she's started seeing the fruits of her labor firsthand.

"Over the past year, I began having events where I had contact with the kids who needed books," says Foos. "Their reactions were truly heartwarming. They were so excited to realize that they could pick out whatever books they wanted, as many as they wanted, that they were free, and that they could keep all of them. They couldn't believe it and it made me so happy! I was also able to read with kids, which I absolutely loved."

Teens can do amazing things when they are informed and encouraged.

Foos is making a measurable difference in her community with BOOK. Cleveland has one of the lowest literacy rates in the nation, and according to the Children's Literacy Foundation, 61% of low-income children in the U.S. grow up without any books in their home.

Foos became aware of the need, then she took the initiative to do something, even a modest something, to help remedy it. With encouragement from her parents and others in the community, she has exceeded even her own expectations — and she's not done. She hopes to collect 10,000 more books next year.

This generation of young people just keeps showing up and showing us what they're capable of.

A big THANK YOU to Homa Bash WEWS for helping me share my passion for reading!! Had a great time yesterday!

Posted by Books Offer Opportunities for Kids on Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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This article originally appeared on 12.10.15


Imgur user "mollywho" felt her life was falling apart. Not only was she battling clinical depression, but she had her hands full. "I've been juggling a LOT lately," she wrote on Imgur. "Trying to do well at work. Just got married. Couldn't afford a wedding. Family is sparse. Falling out with friends, yaddadyadda." She was also upset about how she treated her new husband. "I've not been the easiest person to deal with. In fact, sometimes I've lost all hope and even taken my anger out on my husband."

When she returned home from a business trip in San Francisco, mentally exhausted, she collapsed on her bed and cried. Then she noticed some writing on the bedroom mirror. It was a list that read:

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10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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