The real winner in Iowa last night wasn't Cruz, Trump, or Clinton. HINT: It was us.

As the Iowa caucus wrapped up last night, America was hard-pressed to find a real winner.

The caucus, which was the first (and weirdest) nominating event in the 2016 presidential campaign, let America know definitively ... that we don't really know anything.


Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Ted Cruz took home a victory on the Republican side in Iowa, but his win was preceded by interestingly victorious speeches from Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, who came in second and third, respectively.

On the Democratic side, the race remained too close to call all evening, with some media outlets calling it for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Martin O'Malley and Mike Huckabee, who both received single-digit vote percentages, also announced that they were ending their campaigns.

It was an eventful couple of hours.

The real victory, though, went to voter turnout.

With democracy, the catch is that it only really works when people show up. Apparently the voters in Iowa understand that pretty clearly, since voter turnout was record-breaking.

Roughly 182,000 people showed up to Republican caucus events, which shattered the previous record of 122,000 back in 2012.

The Democrats threw a well-attended caucus party as well. One precinct in Des Moines had so many people that lines spilled out into the hallways, and non-participating observers were asked to leave to make space.

Caucus-goers waiting in Des Moines. Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images.

Several caucus sights even had to print more ballots so that everyone could participate:


It's not just about how many voters showed up. It's who showed up, and why.

According to data from The Washington Post, about 4 in 10 caucus-goers said they were attending a caucus for the first time.

Of those first-time caucus voters, 6 in 10 said they supported Bernie Sanders.

Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images.

This high voter turnout is reminiscent of 2008, when a surge of young voters and first-time caucus-goers showed up to Iowa and gave Barack Obama a handy victory.

Democratic Iowa voters also told the Washington Post what qualities matter most to them in a candidate: For Clinton, it was her experience and ability to beat the Republican nominee in November. For Sanders, it was his honesty and the perception that he cares more about the American people.

On the Republican side, Cruz emerged with a majority of support from men aged 45-64. He also received a lot of votes from the born-again Christian population in Iowa, thanks in part to the campaigning efforts of his father, a Texas pastor.

Ted Cruz hugging his father, Rafael Cruz. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

The Iowa caucus is over, but the games have just begun. Now, attention is on the New Hampshire primary.

All of the remaining candidates are headed to New Hampshire, where they will participate in the nation's first primary election.

There they will all face a brand-new set of voters — more moderate and, overall, less religious than their supporters in Iowa. Fresh off his victory, Cruz will have to play catch-up in New Hampshire, as he has spent relatively little time and effort there.

Clinton and Sanders will also face their first vote without O'Malley in the mix.

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images.

Unlike the strange Iowa caucus, the New Hampshire primary will be a one person/one vote election. The twists and turns aren't over, and we still have a long way to go. But if you want to have an impact on these races ... it's time to get involved.

The primaries are a long and arduous process. What matters most is that people make their voices heard. Candidates are supposed to be representatives of the people. So when you cast your vote, or stand up and voice your opinion, you really are the true winner.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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