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That feeling when you find out your donation is making a huge impact? Incredible.

If you gather enough snowflakes, you can create an avalanche.

Thousands of worthy organizations rely on individual donations to do good work in the world. And there are millions of people who feel compelled to donate, but they might think their modest contributions won't really make a difference.

But they do — especially when enough people show up. When we hear about a major donation, it's easy to think that those are the ones that really make a difference. And, no doubt, those windfalls create big opportunities.


Las Americas, an advocacy group that provides legal representation for immigrants, received a $100,000 donation from Priorities USA — which had a huge impact. "We are all crying in the break room," wrote one of the organization's employees. "Our legal staff is 5 people (2 of us in stipends) and one attorney with at least 300 open cases and clients. This is going to expand the number of people we can help by so much."

But whether it's one person or organization giving $100,000, 100 people giving $1,000 each, or 10,000 people giving $10 each, the effect is the same. For nonprofits, every dollar counts, and the more people they have supporting them, the better.

A viral fundraiser succeeded beyond any expectation — with donations averaging around $38.

When the Trump administration enacted a sweeping policy of separating children from parents at the border, people of all beliefs and backgrounds were appalled. One couple started a Facebook fundraiser to raise money for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas-based legal aid organization serving refugees and immigrants. It went wildly viral, and in less than a week raised more than $17 million.

We do not have the words to thank Charlotte and Dave Willner. Thanks is inadequate for the work these funds will make...

Posted by RAICES on Monday, June 18, 2018

As of this writing, almost 450,000 people have donated to the RAICES fundraiser — a participation level that calculates to an average donation around $38 each. Obviously, some people gave more than that, which means some gave less. And yet all of those individual dollars came together to form an avalanche of funds to help.

"We've been occasionally crying around the office all day when we check the fundraising totals," the organization wrote on Facebook. "... There are terrible things happening in the world. And there are many people who are deciding not to look away but to do something. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Another nonprofit group has raised millions using a model of intentionally small donations — where no one gives more than $25.

Known for their "Love Flash Mobs," Together Rising encourages huge participation with small amounts of money. Love Flash Mobs are time-limited fundraisers — usually less than a day for a specific cause, shared through social media. Most Together Rising fundraising campaigns cap donations at $25 — people are asked not to give more. This practice ensures that "every giver is equally vital to meeting the specific need," according to the organization.

The organization has raised funds for refugees in Greece, abandoned kids in Indianapolis, opioid recovery for pregnant teens, and more. In May 2018, it raised $1 million in just nine hours to help get legal aid to families at the border. Here's the update on the impact of those funds:

HERE'S HOW YOU ARE SERVING THE SEPARATED BORDER FAMILIES TODAY -- UPDATE #2!Two weeks ago, we came together in a...

Posted by Together Rising on Friday, June 15, 2018

Don't let having little to give discourage you from giving.

In a perfect world, we wouldn't need to have fundraisers to support people's basic needs and human rights, but here we are. And a whole lot of "little" adds up to a lot. If everyone with the means gave small amounts on a regular basis, imagine the avalanche of generosity it would create.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Architectural Digest/Youtube

This house was made with love.

Celebrity home tours are usually a divisive topic. Some find them fun and inspirational. Others find them tacky or out of touch. But this home tour has seemingly brought unanimous joy to all.

“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, whose Vegas wedding in 2020 came with an Elvis impersonator, gave a tour of their delightfully quirky Brooklyn townhouse for Architectural Digest, and people were absolutely loving it.

For one thing, the house just looks cool. There’s nothing monotone or minimalist about it. No beige to be seen.

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Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

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The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

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