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People are leaving strollers on train platforms for Ukrainian parents arriving in Poland
Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

Donated strollers provide some respite to weary Ukrainian parents.

A parent's love knows no bounds and that sentiment is on full display as mothers and grandparents trek through unfamiliar territories fleeing the war in their home country of Ukraine. The images coming out of Ukraine and the bordering countries of the refugees are heartbreaking. Despair, confusion and heartache are etched across the faces of loving parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers. Grief is palpable as seen in the videos and images on our screens, but some volunteers in Poland are helping families experience their first sense of reprieve since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Moms across the globe know what it’s like to care for a tired, scared or cranky child. They especially know how it feels to parent while you are also tired, scared or cranky. Not many of us understand what it feels like to parent through an active war, or while fleeing from your home country, but every parent can empathize with what these families must be going through. Several volunteers in Poland took it upon themselves to ease the literal and figurative load of the parents seeking refuge from Ukraine by leaving strollers on a train platform. Many of the strollers were filled with blankets and other things a parent may need, but wouldn't have had the space to carry while fleeing their country.


It’s currently estimated that more than 1.5 million people fleeing Ukraine have entered neighboring countries over the past 10 days. The number of refugees who have entered Poland from Ukraine is expected to reach 1 million in the coming days. Poland has been the recipient of the largest number of refugees since the invasion of Ukraine began.

The empathetic gesture by these volunteers in Poland stands in stark contrast to the war happening in Ukraine. News of this thoughtful act came from a photographer, Francesco Malavolta, after he shared a poignant photo to his Twitter account. He later shared another photo of fully decked out strollers waiting for tired moms and children along the border of Poland and Ukraine. The display of compassion from one human to another is soul soothing.


People from all over the world are trying to find ways to help the Ukrainian people. Outside of the strollers being left for weary refugees, there are people utilizing digital means to put money in the pockets of the people of Ukraine. Some people are buying digital goods from Etsy, while others are renting out Airbnbs with the sole purpose of spending their dollars in a way that directly benefits Ukrainian individuals.

While strollers stuffed with goodies won’t end the war or bring families back together, moms will be able to lay their babies down, giving their arms, backs and souls some respite.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Democracy

Appalachian mom's speech on Kentucky's proposed abortion ban is a must-hear for everyone

Danielle Kirk is speaking up for those often overlooked in our cultural debates.

Canva, courtesy of Danielle Kirk

Appalachian mom gives passionate speech.

Many people felt a gut punch when the Supreme Court issued its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the decades-old Roe v. Wade decision that protected a woman's right to an abortion. However, for some this was a call to action.

Danielle Kirk, 27, a mom of two and an activist on TikTok, used her voice in an attempt to educate the people that make decisions in her small town. Kirk lives in Kentucky where a trigger law came into effect immediately after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Being a former foster child, she knew she had to say something. Kirk spoke exclusively with Upworthy about why she decided to speak up.

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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