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These brothers know how people should be treated. That's why they're helping them move on.

These 'Meatheads' just launched a viral campaign to end domestic violence.

These brothers know how people should be treated. That's why they're helping them move on.

Moving to a new place is stressful even under normal circumstances.

But for those in violent relationships, it can be a lot more complicated. Worries are not just "Where's my phone charger?" and "Do I have enough packing tape?" but "How do I safely get myself and my kids out of the house before my partner gets home?" The logistical and financial challenges can make it that much harder to leave a dangerous situation.

Heartbreakingly, this kind of situation is more common than you'd think. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by a partner in their lifetime.


That's where Meathead Movers comes in.

Photo courtesy of Meathead Movers.

After getting requests from cash-strapped folks trying to flee abusive relationships, Aaron and Evan Steed, cofounders of Meathead Movers, began quietly helping men and women move for free in the late 1990s.

"When I first received a frantic phone call... I could hear the sheer desperation, fear, and panic through the phone," CEO Aaron Steed recounted in an email interview. "My brother and I knew that we needed to jump in our truck and get there as soon as we could. Accepting payment was the last thing on our mind."

"Real men don't hit women." Photo courtesy of Meathead Movers.

After that initial call, the brothers visited local shelters and let them know about the services they were offering. By 2001, they had developed formal partnerships with a number of shelters to help coordinate safe relocations.

And earlier this year, Meathead Movers took things one step further by launching the #MoveToEndDV pledge. Their goal? To challenge other businesses to think about how they can help people move on from domestic violence situations.

Already, 83 business have taken the #MoveToEndDV pledge, including a yoga studio, massage therapists, other moving companies, a mortgage broker, and more.


"Take the Pledge." Meathead Movers website.

For Aaron Steed, it's been amazing to see the creative ways that other businesses are finding to contribute. "Even ones that you think could have nothing to do with helping victims of domestic violence are finding a way to get creative and make a real impact," he explains.

David Wilson, a former high school economics teacher turned vice president of mortgage lending at Guaranteed Rate in San Luis Obispo, California, plans to teach financial literacy classes at a local women's shelter to help domestic violence survivors regain their financial footing. "Oftentimes controlling the finances is part of [domestic violence], so they need to re-establish the bank accounts and credit," he told me in a phone interview.

Ruthann McKenzie. Photo by RPM Designs.

For Ruthann McKenzie, founder of Just Be Confident, a women's coaching company in Sunrise, Florida, taking the pledge had personal meaning. Four years ago, she fled an abusive relationship with her 4-month-old.

"I wanted those who have experienced domestic violence or are currently going through it to know that there is hope and they can be brave," she said in an email interview.

Now an advocate for domestic violence survivors, McKenzie's business offers a free e-course and mentors young women who have experienced homelessness and domestic violence.

Photo courtesy of Meathead Movers.

In addition to helping people escape abusive homes, the Steeds hope to show their young employees — student athletes working their way through school — that, as Aaron put it, "domestic violence lurks in even the most perfect seeming lives [and] homes."

He never could have imagined that a decision he made nearly 20 years ago could take on a life of its own. "I am surprised and humbled by the viral nature of this campaign," Aaron says. And he's put forth a moving challenge for other businesses:

"We challenge all businesses to get creative and figure out how they can help victims of domestic violence."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Anthony Crider / Flickr

Dozens of "White Lives Matter" rallies were scheduled to take place across America on Sunday. The events were scheduled in semi-private, encrypted chats on the Telegram app between Nazis, Proud Boys, and other right-wing extremists.

The organizers said the rallies would make "the whole world tremble."

However, the good news is that hardly any white supremacists showed up. In fact, the vast majority of people who did show up were counter-protesters.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less