+

Amal Clooney and her husband, George, are stepping up for children fleeing war in Syria.

The couple is planning a multimillion-dollar donation to Lebanese public schools, hoping to help provide a quality learning environment to thousands of students currently underserved "because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time."

George and Amal Clooney discuss refugee policy with Prime Minister Angela Merkel and German government officials. Photo via Handout/Getty Images.


"They have been victims of geography and circumstance, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope," the Clooneys told the Associated Press in a statement. "Our goal with this initiative is to help provide Syrian refugee children with an education and put them on a path to be the future leaders their generation desperately needs."

Hundreds of thousands of refugee children have settled in Lebanon, putting pressure on the country's education system.

In response, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) instituted a "second shift" at over 70 public schools.

According to the agency, the extra sessions are staffed by local teachers who frequently extend their work day to ensure that refugee children don't fall behind.

The Clooneys' funds will go toward training those teachers, as well as to providing school supplies, computers, and transportation for the students.

Students at a school for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images.

The $3.5 million donation is from their Clooney Foundation for Justice in conjunction with Google and HP.

Still, there are limits to what one celebrity couple — even an uber-wealthy one — can do for the world's neediest.

The Clooneys have said the funds will aid 3,000 additional refugee children, but the U.N. estimates that some 200,000 in Lebanon alone are still not receiving an education.

Human Rights Watch has labeled the situation an "immediate crisis."

The world needs to step up with a comprehensive plan for the millions displaced by the conflict.

Then-Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi high-fives a child in a school for refugees in Lebanon. Photo by Marwan Tahtah/Getty Images.

That includes supporting the work that agencies like the UNHCR are doing. More importantly, it includes helping muster the political will to resettle them in safe countries — whether by making it easier for them to reunite with family or by more freely granting visas.

With anti-refugee sentiment running hot in the United States and much of Europe, relaxing rules and opening borders can feel like an improbable lift.

Still, it's critical to take action before it's too late in order for these millions of kids to grow up with the skills to confront a challenging, difficult world.

As the Clooneys recognized, there's more than one way to lose a life.

To help make the world a more welcoming place for displaced children and their families, you can visit and support organizations working to protect and serve refugees globally, including Amnesty International, the International Rescue Committee, and the Hebrew International Aid Society.

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.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

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.’”

Keep ReadingShow less