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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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The Stanleys take in kids who need help. And the kids said thanks with the best surprise.

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Minute Maid

Day by day, Adam and Becca Stanley's beautiful family just gets bigger and bigger.

Ever since they moved to Adair Park in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2011, they've been welcoming more and more kids into their family. They already had three kids of their own, but to them, family is much more than just its biological definition. To them, a family connection can extend to anyone and be as simple as welcoming someone into your home when they have no other place to go.

All screenshots via Minute Maid.


That's why when they moved, they started their own nonprofit focused on mentoring youth. Whether it's through organizing local sports leagues, throwing a big Sunday morning pancake breakfast, or welcoming new kids in need into their home, the Stanleys have truly made an impact with the people who make their community so great.

"We really just want it to be a safe place for the kids in the neighborhood," explains Becca.

Just check out the video below to learn more about the work they're doing and the moving story behind their growing family:

Life would be very different for the kids in this neighborhood without this super-dad.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Without question, the Stanleys go above and beyond to give back to those who truly need a helping hand.

"When I was having a rough time," says Ashton Berot, one of the kids in the neighborhood, "they gave me a place to stay, they got me in college, helped me stay in high school."

"It kinda inspired me to think bigger and go bigger."

And because all the kids felt that same kind of love, they rose to the Minute Maid challenge and created a heartwarming gift for the Stanleys – a reverse care package.

They simply wanted to show their appreciation for all that Adam and Becca do for them. So Ashton gathered all the kids in secret to prepare the care package with surprise goodies like a signed football complete with personal messages, pancake mix (of course!), and some Minute Maid orange juice. After all, their breakfast gatherings always meant so much to Ashton and he looked forward to having many more morning meals together as a family very soon.

So to cap it all off, he wrote an incredibly touching letter to show just how wonderful his experience with the Stanleys was.

Dear Adam,
Thank you for your kindness and generosity. I am very thankful for everything you've done for me — getting me in school, keeping me out of trouble, giving me job opportunities, and allowing me to meet your family. You've helped me think and dream bigger. I really don’t know where I would be today if i had not met you and Becca. You've inspired me to be a better me and help people less fortunate than me. You've done so much for me, I wanted to do something for you. Here's a gift from all of us.
Be happy,
Ashton


When we open our hearts (and doors) to neighbors in need of a helping hand, truly amazing things can happen.

In fact, we get more in return than we could ever imagine: friends we can call family and people who have our backs no matter what.

Sponsored

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

Ms. Natalie Ringold's lesson in kindness has gone viral.

No matter our age, we all want kindness and respect from our peers. No one enjoys being judged or criticized, and negative comments about our appearance sting even if we don't want them to.

Unfortunately, that doesn't always stop people from pointing out things they think we should change about ourselves. Issues like hair shaming and body shaming are all too common, despite greater awareness of the hurt they cause.

Elementary school teacher Natalie Ringold shared a lesson about this phenomenon, and though it's geared toward kids, it's one a lot of grown-ups could take to heart as well.


Holding a tube of toothpaste, Ms. Ringold explained when it's appropriate to say something about someone's appearance and when it's not.

"If somebody can't change something about themselves in 30 seconds or less," she said, "then you shouldn't be mentioning it to them."

She gave examples of things that do take 30 seconds or less, such as if someone's shoe is untied or they have something stuck to their shirt or their fly is unzipped. For those things, it's okay to tell the person (politely, and in private if it's something that might embarrass them to point out in front of other people) so they can fix it.

But if it's something that would take more than 30 seconds to change or isn't even possible to change, like their hairsytle or hair color or body shape, then that's not something you should comment on.

"Your words have power," Ms. Ringold said. Squeezing toothpaste out of the tube, she explained that when you say something about someone that they can't change in 30 seconds or less, it can be hurtful, and just like toothpaste once it's out of the tube, you can't fully take it back once it's out there.

"You try to apologize, you try to take the words back…and you try to undo what you said, undo what you did. But it's something they couldn't change about themselves, and so it get very messy. You can't totally take those words back. You can't totally fix it."

"Your words have power and your words matter," she said. "If you walk out of this room spreading kindness to the people around you, spreading love to the people around you, that is what truly makes a difference."

Ms. Ringold shared that she does this lesson with her students on the last day of school because she wants them to remember this concept for the rest of their lives. People in the comments were so appreciative of the message for all ages.

"I think many adults need to hear this message!"

"Exactly my thoughts. A lot of adults need to hear this too."

"BLESS YOU!!! As a person who was relentlessly racially harassed as a child, I wish this was taught."

"If they are old enough to be mean on purpose they are old enough to be kind on purpose."

"This should be required viewing for anyone who wants to join social media."

"This made me cry. Can I start my college courses with this?"

"I saw you post this and had this conversation with my 4th graders!! It helped so much!!"

Here's to teachers teaching lessons beyond academics, helping kids learn that their humanity matters just as much as their grades.

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.

via Pexels

Work at it every single day folks.


The best advice isn’t always obvious, or else we would have thought of it ourselves. It often comes out of left field and can be counterintuitive. When it comes to marriage, the best advice tends to be centered around keeping a focus on the long game.

One of the best pieces of marriage advice I ever received was, “Buy her a bottle of shampoo from time to time without her asking.” Now, that doesn’t mean to get shampoo specifically, but just pick up something here and there to show you care and are thinking about her.



Marriage, if done right, is forever, so that often means taking a loss in the short-term to enjoy the long-term benefits of a happy life with someone. This is great as a concept but in practice can be pretty darn hard, day in and day out.

Hence why about 50% of American marriages end in divorce.

Reddit user thecountnotthesaint put out a call to the AskMen forum for some of the best marriage advice that “sounded absurd” but was actually helpful.

The question was inspired by some advice the Reddit user had received from their father, who claimed that a king-sized bed is the key to a happy marriage. "I'll be damned if that wasn't one of the best decisions we made aside from getting married and having kids," they wrote.

A lot of the advice was about being careful not to escalate small disagreements into larger arguments that could turn personal and ugly. A lot of people think that to have a successful marriage means being able to compromise and to let things go quickly.

Here are some of the best responses to the question, “What random marriage advice sounded absurd but was actually spot on helpful?”

1.

"Dad said 'Be kind even if you’re not feeling it. Maybe especially if you’re not feeling it.'” — semantician

2. 

"At my wedding, my wife's Grandmother offered so funny, weird, solid advice. She said, 'If you get angry with each other, go to bed naked and see if you can resolve it before you go to sleep.' So far, so good. Anniversary on Monday!" — drizzyjdracco

3. 

"The advice I’ve given people is this: if you can go grocery shopping with your person and have the best time ever, you have yourself a keeper. It’s all about making the best of the mundane things, because after years of being together, life becomes predictable. You’ll need to keep the spice going, regardless of what you’re doing. Source: married 15 years." — LemonFizzy0000

4. 

"My grandfather told me 'Never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.' What I learned is that he would always help my grandma and that is when they did their most talking." — t480

5. 

"When our kid was about to be born, someone told me to change the first diaper. If you can handle the first one, the others will be easy.' So I did. I didn't know what I was doing, so I asked the nurse at the hospital to teach me, and I changed the first several few diapers while my wife recovered from a difficult labor. The advice was correct, no other diaper was as disgusting as the first one. It got very easy and I never minded doing it, and my wife was really really grateful. And I loved that I could take on some of the parenting chores, since there was so much that she was the only one... equipped to provide." — wordserious

6. 

"Focus on tackling the problem, not each other." — bobbobbobbobbob123

7. 


"Don’t have too high of expectations. My dad told us that, but we found most of our early fights were when one or the other had unspoken expectations of the other or marriage. It is positively life changing to be married, and an amazing experience, but still life goes on."— nopants_ranchdance

8. 

"Marry him for who he is. Not his potential." — There-is-No-beyond

9. 


"My stepmom just passed away, and dad said something that has profoundly changed my attitude: 'The little things that annoyed me are the things I now miss.' So, like, yea for some reason she squeezes a massive glob of toothpaste which mostly falls into the sink basin and she doesn't wash away the toothpaste spit. If/when she's gone, that little constant annoyance that reminds me she's there will be gone too. Don't nag on the little things, rather, embrace them. (still, let her know she has made progress on other things I've pointed out, as I try to adapt to her wishes)." — drewkungfu

10. 

"Say thank you for day to day things, even taking out the trash, sweeping the floor, or folding laundry. Audibly hearing thank you reinforces the feeling of being appreciated." — BVolatte

11. 

"Randomly give your partner a cold beverage on a hot day. It's the little things that show you care." — Purple12Inchruler

12. 


"You don't just marry her, you marry her whole damn family."
— crazypersn

13. 

"One of my colonels told me: 'Just buy two damn pizzas, instead of arguing over the toppings.'"— MgoBlue702

14. 

"Be honest. Don't lie to your partner." — Mikeydeeluxe

15. 

"Don’t marry a woman whose dad calls her 'princess,' because she probably believes it. Much to his regret, my brother ignored this advice from our dad." — Toadie9622

16. 

"My fiance always says that 'just because' flowers are the best kind of flowers." — agaribay1010

17. 

"My Gramps who was married for over 50 yrs said: 'tell her you love her every single day.' Kind of obvious, but I definitely took it to heart." — sorellk

18. 

"Love isn’t about having 'nice feelings for each other.' It’s about acting for the betterment of someone else, even if you don’t feel like it. Emotions will change. Your willingness to treat your spouse a certain way doesn’t have to." — sirplaind

19. 


"Bill Maher said "The three most important words in a relationship aren't 'I love you', they're 'let it go.' Oddly, this has proven to be some of the best relationship advice I've ever heard."
— KrssCom


This article originally appeared on 05.30.22

TikTokker Mackenzie Waddell shares a heartfelt story about her daughter.

A mother on TikTok shared a heartfelt moment when her 9-year-old daughter opened up about her self-image concerns, wondering about her appearance as she grows up. The story was a wonderful example of a mother delicately dealing with an issue that far too many young women face. It was also a difficult moment because the conversation brought up the mother's body issues as well.

The conversation happened while the two were clothes shopping at Target. “My 9-year-old’s saying she's fat, and this is because she has to wear adult sizes versus kids 'cause she's really tall, just like me,” Mackenzie Waddell told her 222,000 followers.


“She kept calling herself ‘fat’ and that she had too big of a butt and that the other kids her age don't have to wear adult clothes,” Waddell continued. “I reminded her that I, too, had to wear adult clothes when I was her age 'cause I was really tall just like she is.”

@missmommymack

Im so devastated that she feels that way about herself. 💔

The discussion led to a question that was hard for the mother to hear.

“... she asked me if she was gonna look like me when she grew up. And I asked her, ‘Do you mean big like me? When you grow up?’ And she said, ‘Yes. I'm not trying to be mean mom, but I want to look like Aunt Sarah, not you,’” she recalled.

Her daughter’s remarks hit her right in the heart, but she responded with perfect composure. "I kept a brave face and said, 'As long as you are happy and healthy, and you love yourself, that's all that matters. No matter what size you are,” Waddell said.

The mother was sure not to take it personally, but it still cut close to the bone. “And was I hurt? Yeah, I was. But she didn't mean to hurt me. It just really sucked. Yeah,” she concluded.

The post went viral, receiving over 1.7 million views and over 2,000 comments. The most popular commenter thought that Waddell should tell her daughter to avoid commenting on people’s weight.

"You should tell her she hurt your feelings. She needs to know. You did a great job supporting her in how she feels. She has to learn that skill also," Char8201 wrote.

However, many women responded with nothing but love for how Waddell handled such a challenging situation. "You responded beautifully, momma. She’s still learning and these are the moments where we provide that guidance, even when it hurts," Mavv13 wrote. "Oh mama. Thank god she feels comfortable to talk to you openly," tirrelltribe added.

After the tremendous response to her video, Waddell responded with another post, educating people about how one’s weight doesn’t necessarily mean they eat unhealthy. “A lot of people like to assume that plus-size people don’t know how to eat healthy or are unhealthy. When, in fact, we’re not,” Waddle said.

She added that her daughter lives a healthy lifestyle but avoids having conversations about weight with her because “That’s what traumatized me.”

@missmommymack

Replying to @user3838812846970 she will always be perfect, no matter what.

This article originally appeared on 9.28.23

Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.




When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.


More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

1. Playing with dogs

via GIPHY

Doggos are basically furry children, so this one’s a no-brainer.

2. Legos

via GIPHY

The only thing NOT fun about Legos is stepping on one. Everything else is pure magic.

3. Popping bubble wrap

via GIPHY

With each satisfying “pop” sound, just imagine tiny bursts of dopamine flooding the brain.

4. Riding roller coasters

via GIPHY

While it’s true that riding roller coasters might become less physically possible with age, barring that limitation—you’re never too old to ride one.

5. Arcades

via GIPHY

Playing video games at home is cool, but there's a special thrill in seeing an arcade absolutely buzzing with different game sounds, colored lights and other people enjoying themselves.

6. Go-karts

via GIPHY

Because speeding in real life is irresponsible.

7. Pillow fights

via GIPHY

A quintessential sleepover activity that can easily be done with a roommate. Bonus points for surprise attacks.

8. Dinosaurs

via GIPHY

Whether in toy or nugget form, dinosaurs are a delight.

9. Dressing up for Halloween

via GIPHY

Halloween costumes can go from a fun form of playful expression in our younger years to a source of self-image issues in our teens and beyond (as so many things in life do). Hopefully though, dressing up for the spooky season can be a highlight on the calendar.

10. Water slides

via GIPHY

Roller coasters in liquid form!

11. Dolls

via GIPHY

We no longer have to hide our passion for toys under the serious moniker of “collecting.” Playing with dolls is a fun practice in storytelling and has even shown a very specific set of therapeutic benefits. Permission, granted!

12. Daydreaming

via GIPHY

Remember peacefully imagining made-up worlds while staring up at the clouds? Those were good times.

13. Swings

via GIPHY

Whether you are a traditionalist or prefer to go crazy and twist yourself up for some epic spins, a swing set is a perfect place to let your inner child out.

14. Taking sick days

via GIPHY

Everything is more fun when you do it during a time you technically should be somewhere else.


This article originally appeared on 9.7.22

Sometimes a sibling bond transcends all else.

"Love" is one of the most powerful words in the English language, yet it's also one of the most broadly defined. We use the word "love" for so many things that are neither the same nor equal—our families, our friends, our romantic partners, our hobbies—even our favorite foods.

When we think of a "love story," we almost exclusively imagine a tale of romance, but that's not the only kind of love story there is. Sometimes the strongest, most meaningful loves of our lives aren't romantic at all.

David Shane creates videos in which he approaches couples in public and asks them to share three things they love about each other, resulting in some major #couplegoals moments. But one "couple" he approached had a surprising answer to that question, one that moved both them and the people watching the video afterward to tears.


Blane approached a man and woman sitting on a bench at a mall and asked his signature question—"Excuse me, could you give me three things you love about each other?" The woman responded, "Well, this is my brother," and proceeded to share that she loved that they were related and that they care about each other—typical family stuff. But as she started elaborating, the beautiful bond they share became more and more apparent.

This is one you just have to watch:

People were understandably moved seeing this brother and sister express their love for one another through serious life challenges.

"This is what love looks like. 🥹 What a truly beautiful sibling relationship, 😭🫶🏽" wrote one commenter.

"I gotta stop watching these right after I do my makeup," wrote another.

"Gosh, I love questions like this that remind us to SEE two people sitting in a mall as the true, precious humans they are," shared another. "We walk past people every day, all day long and never get to know their story. There must be so many stories we miss. This is the beauty of social media. I wish both of these sweet souls the very best. So glad they have each other."

Many of us have people with whom we share a deep connection but may not always share our feelings freely. This video is a good reminder to let our loved ones know what they mean to us and to treasure all the love stories in our lives, whether romantic, platonic or familial.


This article originally appeared on 9.29.23