Thanks to one man's thoughtful idea, these kids with HIV had a day they'll never forget.
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Delta

**Danny wanted nothing more than to bring a little light and joy to children living with HIV. Watch his story and see how Delta made this magical day possible.**

Danny grew up in Medellín, Colombia, as part of a large, close-knit family.

He speaks of his hometown wistfully from his office in New York. "We don't have seasons," he said. "We have the eternal spring."


Danny describes the flowers, festivals, and fresh air with a degree of detail and charm normally reserved for guidebooks. Medellín is a place that's close to his heart.

All images via Delta/YouTube.

"My family is very paisa," he said, using the colloquial term to describe people from the coffee-growing region of Colombia. Traditionally, "paisa families are big, big, big." Danny was the oldest of four children and grew up surrounded by many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

All GIFs via Delta/YouTube.

His family instilled the importance of service at a very young age.

"My family is very very humble ... they always teach me to help others." Danny said.

Danny loved to dance, and as young as 12, he would teach small classes and put on shows around the neighborhood. Anything he could to give back.

"I grew up a really happy kid and a really happy teenager," he said.

That joy and generosity of spirit would one day guide Danny back home to Medellín.

Though he loved his home in Colombia, Danny moved to the U.S. five years ago.

"I love my place. I love my culture and I love my country and my city," he said. "But, it's different when you come [to the United States]. There's more opportunities."

Danny works as a program coordinator for a nonprofit providing resources and assistance to people living with HIV. Danny, who is HIV-positive himself, sees this as an opportunity to break down the preconceived notions that still surround the disease.

"The face of HIV and AIDS is really, really bad," Danny said. "When people think about AIDS and HIV, they think about death. But I'm living with HIV, four years now. I'm trying to change the face. I'm trying to minimize the stigma."

So Danny entered Delta's "My Next Trip Back" contest, with the goal of not only going back, but giving back.

He wanted to throw a party for the children of the Niños del Sol foundation, a nonprofit organization in his hometown of Medellín.

"The children are there, and they need us."

Niños del Sol provides room, board, education, and support for 15 children ages 4 to 15 living with or affected by HIV. The children live at the large ranch home under the supervision of site director Paula Nicholls and her mother Maria Ortiz.

When Danny won the contest, he was overjoyed!

"It was amazing because I knew this was not only my dream," he said.

This was his chance to return to a place he loved to bring joy and positivity to the community that gave him so much.

With support from Delta, Danny traveled to Medellín to provide an afternoon of carefree fun for the kids of Niños del Sol.

It was a day full of face-painting and crafts...

...puppets and games...

...and plenty of music and dancing.

For a few hours, the children weren't patients. They were just kids. The way it should be.

"For me, they are only children," Danny said. "And we have a party as children."

Danny hopes to put together a show with the help of a New York-based dance academy to raise money and awareness for Niños del Sol. And he became close with Paula, the group's director.

Danny, Paula and a few of the children of Niños del Sol.

"Paula is very paisa, so we really match really good," he said with a laugh. "We talk almost every day, and we are keeping in touch through Facebook."

While his win earned him an unforgettable trip, Danny remains humble and hopeful.

He said the reason he did this was for visibility — not for himself, but for anyone struggling with the stigma around HIV.

"I don't want to be famous ... I want visibility," he said. "To have visibility, you can change minds."

Because in the end, he's doing it especially for the kids. "The most important thing: The children are there, and they need us."

Pexels
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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.