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There is a movement to paint over the hate-fueled election graffiti, and it's fantastic.

'We have so many people who are devastated and feel hopeless. This is a way for them to do something.'

There is a movement to paint over the hate-fueled election graffiti, and it's fantastic.

When Olivia Trimble heard that a hate message had been spray-painted on a wall across from her town's public library, she grabbed her paint, jumped in her car, and headed over.

According to Trimble, the hateful message — a sign that read "F**ck N**gers" — had already been reported to the Fayetteville, Arkansas, police but had yet to be covered up.

“I felt moved to take it down," Trimble said. "I didn’t want my kids or any other person to see that hatred in our city.”


But she didn't just take it down...

She covered it up with a message of love.  

Image from Repaint Hate/Facebook, used with permission.

And Trimble didn't stop there.

When she got home, Trimble wrote a message on social media asking members of her community to let her know of other hateful messages that might appear.

If she could get to them, she'd cover them with uplifting messages in a matter of hours.

Soon after, Trimble began reaching out to other sign-painters, artists, and activists to ask if they would offer similar services in their own neighborhoods. Within a day, she was overwhelmed by a flood of messages from fellow painters — from Chicago to Copenhagen — pledging to do the same.

Just like that, the #RepaintHate movement was born.

Image from Jakob Engelberg/Copenhagen Signs, used with permission.

In the Repaint Hate Facebook group (which has over 3,000 members as of this writing), people can report hateful graffiti that needs covering and share pictures of the messages of love painted over them.

Earlier this week, the owners of Smoke and Barrel Tavern in Fayetteville donated a wall to Trimble, so she could continue spreading positive messages in the face of these hate crimes.

She is still also the on-call painter for any new hate graffiti that might appear in her city, but she believes there can never be too many positive messages, especially during a time where hate crimes are on the rise.

Photo via Olivia Trimble, used with permission.

Repaint Hate is far from the only group with the idea to cover up hateful messages with positive ones.

When a church in Maryland was vandalized with “Trump Nation, Whites Only” graffiti, community members got together and hung “Love Wins" posters all around the church. Students at Michigan State covered up a message painted on their school's boulder that read "Kill 'em all" with "Love 'em all." Three days after the election, Laura Molina, together with her husband Robert, covered up the hate-filled graffiti they found on the sidewalk outside the HRC headquarters in New York City:

“We have so many people who are devastated and feel hopeless," said Trimble. "This is a way for them to do something.”

Painting over these hateful messages is just one way people are taking an active stance against the recent uptick in hate crimes in this country.

A movement called "Yes, I'll accompany my neighbor" was started to accompany minorities who feel threatened on their daily commute and is picking up steam nationwide. Community members and students at Baylor University literally stood and walked with student Natasha Nkhama after she was harassed on campus by a racist. The Anti-Defamation League has taken to fighting hate crimes on a legal and governmental level.  

There are plenty of little things each and every one of us can do to make a difference. You just have to keep your eyes open, and when you see something you can make better, follow Trimble's lead — get out on the street with whatever tools you need and do something about it.

Of course, you should always report a hate crime to the SPLC and your local police department before taking action. They may also have some helpful advice on the best course of action to take.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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