These DIY necklaces for teachers are hilarious. But they also reveal sad truths.

If you're scrambling for last-minute gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week, don't fret!

Gerry Brooks has you covered.

The YouTuber — a self-proclaimed "fun maker" and school principal — published a video on May 8 proposing three easy, affordable DIY necklaces for the special teachers in your life.

They're pretty fantastic. (Story continues below.)



1. A "hugs and kisses" necklace.

Hugs and kisses, as in, the chocolate candies.


But let's not overlook the delicious symbolism at play here.

All GIFs via Gerry Brooks/YouTube.

Most teachers don't feel as though society values their work. And that's terribly unfortunate because they're molding the brains that will create the future. It seems like pretty important work, yes?

Teachers deserve all the hugs and kisses they can handle.

2. A "workday" necklace.

It comes equipped with scissors, a glue stick, markers — whatever you think your teacher would appreciate most.

It's a cute gift — but, sadly, one that might be more useful than it should be.

The vast majority of Americans believe the teachers in their community are underpaid, according to a CBS News poll released in April 2018. Yet those same teachers with those same salaries are expected to reach (deep) down into their own pockets to provide school supplies for their classrooms so they can do their jobs.

According to NPR, many teachers spend up to $1,000 of their own income each year on items like notebooks, pencils, and art supplies for their students.

That's a whole lot of workday necklaces.

3. A "get me to the summer" necklace.

It's a necklace with a mini bottle of wine attached to it.

That's it. That's all.

Most teachers say they are overly stressed — and understandably so. They just might appreciate a drink to take the edge off (to be consumed off school property and after work, to be clear).

And, just to say it: While summers may serve as a brief respite from the chaos of the official school year, they are hardly a three-month vacation. Most teachers still work throughout much of the summer, prepping next year's curricula, organizing or moving classrooms, attending professional development meetings or conferences, and more. And because they're underpaid, many teachers take summer jobs just to make ends meet.

It sounds like they need a real vacation — which may or may not include a few bottles of wine.

While teachers across the country go on strike or conduct walkouts to demand better for themselves and their students, keep in mind just how underpaid and overworked they truly are.

They deserve way more than one week of appreciation a year. But let's start with these necklaces and go from there.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.