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Joy

Students raise $225K for 80-year-old janitor forced to unretire after his rent skyrocketed

We need to get Mr. James "out of this school."

senior citizens, mr james, gofundme

Mr. James had to come out of retirement to pay his rent, and some students weren't having it.

Over the past few years, the outlandish increase in the cost of living for the average American has been hard on just about everyone. Prices on consumer goods have been through the roof as inflation reached its highest level in 40 years in June of 2022.

Rent has been going up for the average American as well. From 2017 to 2022, the average year-over-year increase was 5.77%, with the most significant increase of an average of 14% occurring from 2021 to 2022.

Almost every American feels the pain of the increased living expenses, but it has to be especially hard on those living on a fixed income. Fox 4 News reports that when an 80-year-old retired man affectionately known as “Mr. James” saw his rent go up by $400, he had to work again to make ends meet. Callisburg High School in Texas hired Mr. James as a janitor, and the sight of seeing a man that old lifting garbage cans and scrubbing lunch tables didn’t sit right with some of the students.


“It’s just so sad seeing an 80-year-old man having to do things an 80-year-old shouldn’t have to do,” Callisburg senior Banner Tidwell said, according to KXII.

A few of the school's students decided to do something about Mr. James' situation and started a GoFundMe campaign called “Getting Mr. James out of this school” to raise some money for him so he could resume his retirement. The teens started with a goal of $10,000 that was quickly surpassed after Greyson Thurman, a Callisburg student, promoted it with a TikTok video that went viral.

Just 8 days after the GoFundMe campaign started, it has already raised $225,000 for Mr. James. "He doesn't want any part of the spotlight. He's appreciative of what these students have done," the school's principal, Jason Hooper, told Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth.


@grey.thurman

Go fund me is in the bio! My classmates and I hate seeing Mr. James here, no one his age should have to be cleaning our messes up to continue to live. #fyp#school#gofundme#fy#mrjames

“It’s crazy to see something that we knew people would have wanted to help. But we didn’t know it would blow up,” senior Marti Yousko, one of the campaign’s organizers, told KXII, "When we told him, he was kind of like, 'dang, that's alright!'" Yousko continued.

“It's just amazing,” Hooper told KXII. ”You know of the need that was met because of three kind kids, but of all of our students who have pitched in to help that need.”

gofundme, mr james, senior citizens

The students who organized the campaign and Mr. James.

via GoFundMe

Incredibly, these students had the heart to realize Mr. James' struggles and stepped up and do something about the situation. This is one of those stories that is both heartwarming and sad. It’s beautiful that the kids, the community and people around the world are helping Mr. James, but it’s terrible that an 80-year-old man would have to resort to going back to work in the first place. Especially in a country with so much wealth.

Fox 4 News reached out to the Callisburg Independent School District to see if Mr. James is still working at the school, and he hasn’t said anything about leaving his job just yet.

"Nobody deserves to work their whole life. They deserve to enjoy everything," Thurman said.






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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

Health

Neuroscience learns what Buddhism has known for ages: There is no constant self

Buddhist Monks have known for thousands of years what science is just now learning: the mind can be changed by training it.

Ven. Thich Thong Hai prays by a statue of Buddha in the garden at the Ventura Buddhist Center.

Proving that science and religion can, in fact, overlap, University of British Columbia researcher Evan Thompson has confirmed the Buddhist teaching of the not-self, or "anatta," is more than just a theory.

"Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness," he tells Quartz. "And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There's nothing that corresponds to the sense that there's an unchanging self."


This reality that nothing stays the same should be liberating, because if people believe it, they'll no longer define themselves by their thoughts or be limited by a fixed idea of who they are. Their possibilities will be endless.

Buddhist Monks have known for thousands of years what science is just now learning: the mind can be changed by training it. Neuroplasticity, as it's called, endows people with the ability to grow and evolve, triumphing over bad habits and becoming more like the individuals they want to be.

Buddha, religion, self awareness, evolution, enlightenment

Buddha GIF

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Still, exactly how consciousness relates to the brain eludes both Buddhism and neuroscience. Buddhists suppose there's an iteration of consciousness that doesn't require a physical body; neuroscientists disagree.

"In neuroscience, you'll often come across people who say the self is an illusion created by the brain," Thompson says. "My view is that the brain and the body work together in the context of our physical environment to create a sense of self. And it's misguided to say that just because it's a construction, it's an illusion."


This article originally appeared on 09.23.17

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.

Curtesy of Shannon van Duijvendijk

Family of little girl take on Mississippi state for baseball tryout

As the old saying goes, "baseball is America's pastime." It was so important that during the second World War, Major League Baseball executives created all women's baseball teams since most of the young men were away fighting. The blockbuster hit movie, "A League of Their Own" details this era that not only provided fans with entertainment but proved women could be fierce competitive baseball players.

One South Mississippi family found themselves in the middle of a battle they didn't anticipate when it came to the game. Their daughter Jewel has been playing baseball since she was 5-years-old on city recreational teams, eventually making All Stars and travel baseball. With the 7th grader aging out of the recreational program, she wanted to join the middle school team.

That's where the problem came in. The girl's mom, Shannon van Duijvendijk says the Ocean Springs School District refused her a tryout for the baseball team.


This is the same school district that has had girls step out of their football cleats to put on a homecoming crown after kicking for the high school team. So the decision seemed a bit confusing for the community who chimed in to support the parents petitioning for Jewel to play on the middle school team.

Jewel is one of two girls planning to try out for the baseball team that many of their male teammates are competing for. But it was van Duijvendijk's husband who was determined to make sure his daughter got to play a the game that she loves.

"It was actually my husband. That sense of injustice rose up in him and he was just like 'no, uh uh.'"

The initial call came from the school's athletic director who told them that it was a state rule that girls couldn't play on the baseball team because softball was considered an equivalent. That's when Mr. van Duijvendijk started contacting every person he could find in Jackson to help get his daughter a tryout. But the quest to speak with someone on the state level proved to be futile.

Curtesy of Shannon van Duijvendijk

After finding out the school's grievance policy, the determined dad emailed the superintendent who was extremely responsive according to van Duijvendijk. The mom tells Upworthy that the superintendent contacted people at the state level, eventually reporting back that Mississippi's High School Athletic Association (MSHAA) rule was unclear.

The rule from section 7.6.2 of the MSHAA Handbook reads in part, "When a state championship is offered for girls, they may not play on a boys’ team in that sport.”

As van Duijvendijk points out in her post, baseball and softball are two different sports and that ruling was made official by the NCAA in 2009. So a girls softball team would not be equivalent to a boys baseball team, according to the NCAA rules, the equivalent to baseball is baseball.

van Duijvendijk explains that the family got the most pushback from parents of softball players, which it is suspected the original complaint about girls trying out for baseball originated. There was confusion over why a girl would prefer to play baseball over softball and speculation on if the parents felt that baseball was superior.

But there was no feeling of one sport being superior over the other. In fact, in van Duijvendijk's social media post she writes, "I know a lot of people don’t understand why she chose to play baseball instead of softball, I didn’t for a while either. In the beginning I tried to convince her so many times to make the switch."

Jewel was so steadfast in her determination to play the sport van Duijvendijk says could see it in her eyes. That changed everything for the mom when it came to her support of Jewel's love of the sport. Right now, softball isn't even a practical switch.

"She has never played softball and doesn’t even own the equipment necessary to play the game. We have nothing against softball and we have so much love and respect for the girls that do play it, but that is not the sport she plays."

Curtesy of Shannon van Duijvendijk

Thanks to the determination of a dad who saw his daughter encounter an injustice, a mom who would do anything to support her and a superintendent that was intent on hunting someone down to clear up the rules–Jewel gets to tryout. Now that's what you call teamwork. As for Jewel, she's been playing with the boys since she was old enough to pick up a ball, she just wanted a chance to show them what she can do.

@tabathalynnk/TikTok, Photo credit: Canva

They've still got the moves

Ready to get transported back to the Decade of Decadence? Cause this wholesome new TikTok trend is gonna put you right back in the attitude-filled, neon colored post-disco era otherwise known as the 80s.

Specifically, it’s going to take you back to an 80s dance club.

In the trend, kids ask their parents to “dance like it’s the 80s,” as the 1984 track “Smalltown Boy” by the British pop band Bronski Beat plays in the background. The song's high energy tempo mixed with heartbreaking, anguish-ridden lyrics make it a fitting choice to bring us back to the time period.

As for the parents—let's just say that muscle memory kicks in the minute the tune begins to play, and it’s a whole vibe.


Check out Tabatha Lynn's video of her mom, Leanne Lynn, which currently has over 8 million views.

@tabathalynnk My moms 80s dance moves, I wanna be her when I grow up 😍 our kids better not ask us this in 30 years 😂 #80s #momsoftiktok #dancemoves ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Leanne and Tabatha told TODAY that since going viral, the dance is now a common “topic of conversation in the family text group.”

There are two factors here that folks really seem to connect with.

One: 80s dancing was simple. Just moving to the rhythm, maybe a head bob for some flair or a robot if you’re feeling adventurous. Of course, the 80s had ambitious moves like the worm and the moonwalk, but for the most part it was just about groovin’ to beat.

@marynepi One thing about Ms. Suzanne, shes gonna slay. #fypage #dance #slay #80s #yasqueen #trending #trend ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Then there’s seeing the parents light up at the chance to go back to the days of their youth.

“I can literally see the young women in these women spring out in fluidity. Love this trend,” one person commented.

@lavaleritaaa Love her 😭 “Se me espeluco el moño” 😂 #80s #momdancechallenge ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Another seconded, “I love seeing moms remember when they were just themselves.”

Of course, dads are totally rocking this trend too. Check it out:

@chrisbrown711 I dont normally do trends but i got in on this one. How did I do? #fyp #blessed #80sdancechallenge #80smusic #80s ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

The 80s was a time of rapid expansion for music. Much of this we have the birth of MTV to thank for, which subsequently dropped music videos, CDs and a vast array of sub genres straight into the heart of pop culture.

Plus, the 80s brought us the synthesizer, which remains a strangely satisfying sound even in 2024. So while the era might have brought some things that most of us would prefer not to revisit—like acid washed denim and awful, awful hairstyles—some of its gems are truly timeless.

The trend also shows how, even though the weekly outing to a dance hall might be a thing of the past, people inherently want to bust a move. Luckily, there’s no shortage of clubs that cater to someone’s music tastes, no matter the era.

Speaking for 00s teens everywhere…just play the Cha Cha slide and we’ll come a-runnin.

Joy

Intimacy coach debunks myth about couples who post too much about themselves on social media

Is it red flag to post "lovey dovery" posts about your partner?

A couple posting about their relationship on Facebook.

Do you have any friends who constantly post about their relationships with their significant other on social media? Are they continually posting photos and writing things like, “She’s my everything. I couldn’t get through a day without her.” Or, “You are my best friend and soulmate, not just my partner. Together, we create a more beautiful love story than I could have imagined."

Sometimes, couples writing touching dedications to one another can be sweet, but things start to look suspicious when it happens constantly. Why do these people need so much public confirmation of their relationship? Are they looking for likes and comments of support? Did someone cheat?

When couples are screaming this loud for attention, it looks like a big red flag that something is wrong in the relationship. It feels like the couple is overcompensating for something.

However, intimacy expert, relationship coach and hypnotherapist Katy Shelor disagrees with this popular theory. She believes that too many factors are at play to mark this online behavior as a red flag.

"So there's a theory that, basically, the more couples are kind of over-posting about each other on Instagram, for example, that they're actually compensating for something covering up some issues, the more likely they are to have problems,” she said in a viral Instagram post. "So, yeah, I think there's a couple elements to this."

"But I do think there may be a little bit of truth to it,” she continued. “First, you know, you have to always remind yourself not to get into the comparison game. So looking through other people's feeds and looking at their couple's romantic photos and their anniversary posts can make you feel like, oh my god. They've got it all figured out. Don't they?”

"But we know that that's not actually true. Right?" Shelor said.

Shelor believes there just isn’t enough research to determine a couple’s status based on a few social media posts. "There's little bits and pieces are all around basically saying that too much gushing may hint at an insecurity at the very least,” Shelor said. “Whereas for some people I think, you know, the sharing is it's just a positive."

One study suggests that oversharing in relationships may have more to do with people’s attachment styles than the status of their relationships. Attachment styles are formed during early childhood based on the quality of the relationship between a child and their primary caregiver. These styles are influenced by the caregiver's responsiveness and consistency, shaping the child's expectations and behaviors in future relationships.

People with anxious attachment styles need a lot more affirmation in their relationships, whether it’s from their significant other or the general public. So, even though their relationship may be going well, they may still need a little more affirmation here and there than most people.

Whereas people with avoidant attachments will post about their relationships much less often because they don’t feel the need to make them visible.

Jennifer Chappell Marsh, LMFT, regularly sees this dynamic in her office during couples therapy. “Avoidantly attached people tend to disengage and withdraw from their partners while anxiously attached people are almost always seeking reassurance about their relationship, even on social media,” Chappell Marsh said.

So, when they enjoy a night out together, the avoidant person may want to have a quiet dinner while the anxious person takes photos and posts them on Instagram. This causes tension in the relationship. “That disconnect triggers a spike in relationship anxiety for the anxious type,” Chappell Marsh said. “As a result, the insecure partner may take a relationship pic and post it on Facebook to get ‘likes.’ Oftentimes, they’re looking for positive attention in the absence of getting the reassurance from their partner.”

Although it’s unclear whether we can gauge the relationship status of our friends by their social media posts, there is evidence to suggest that if they post extremely often or not at all about their relationships, we can get a good idea of their attachment style.


Family

Dad had no idea he was auditioning for 'Britain's Got Talent.' He brought the house down anyway.

His two little girls called him up on stage to perform the song he wrote for them.

Nick Edwards had no idea he was going to be singing for Britain's Got Talent until his mom and daughters showed up on stage.

We've seen some moving America's Got Talent stories before, but a recent viral audition absolutely requires a tissue warning. I tried to steel myself in preparation when I saw the "Admit it, we were *all* in tears after this" caption on the Facebook share of it, but I failed.

In a video that's been shared more than 95,000 times, the "Britain's Got Talent" audition shows two tiny little girls onstage with their grandmother. They introduce themselves as "Cally" (age 4) and "Savannah" (age 3) and "Nanny" (their "daddy's mummy") then the girls share that they are there to surprise their dad.

Dad—also known as Nick Edwards—is sitting in the audience. He thought the family was there to watch the audition on a fun outing; he had no idea that they had arranged a surprise audition for him, so when his girls and mom showed up on stage, he wondered what was going on.



A "Britain's Got Talent" spokesperson explained to the Daily Mail how they got Edwards mic'd up without giving away the surprise.

"When Nick entered the Palladium auditorium during ‘BGT’ auditions, he was approached to be part of our ‘gogglebox’ audience and told he would be mic’d up so we could capture his reactions throughout the day as he sat in the audience," they said. “He was totally unsuspecting. We did this so we could mic him up without him suspecting a thing.”

As Edwards tried to figure out what his mom and daughters were doing on stage, Edwards' mother explained to the judges and the audience that he sings a special song to his girls. She said they wanted him to come up and sing it. Naturally, not being prepared for an audition, Edwards was stunned. But the judges sent him backstage to "grab a glass of water" so he could compose himself and get ready.

"They gave me some time to warm up—about 45 minutes in total," Edwards told This Morning. "They gave me my guitar my family brought down on the day, they [producers] said this is the song we want you to sing because we'd seen it on your Instagram."

The song is an emotional doozy, especially if you're a parent. "It's a song I've felt quite attached to so I sing it a lot around the house," Edwards told the judges before he started to sing. Once you hear it, you'll see why he joked about trying to keep from crying while he sang it.

Lovely voice. Beautiful song. Adorable little girls. Not a dry eye in the house.

Tissue, seriously. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The fact that Edwards was able to pull off that audition with less than an hour of preparation was quite impressive. He told This Morning what he was thinking during that prep time.

"If I go out I've got two options here, I either go out and try to own it or I come out and it all crumbles…" he said. "The whole thing just went so quickly. I do remember playing and in a way my fingers started to get a bit jelly, I remember thinking 'this is going to be a big moment for you.' I don't want to stuff it up."

Stuff it up he did not. What a lovely performance, and what lucky little girls to have a daddy who shares his love for them in such a beautiful and creative way.


This article originally appeared on 04.22.22