This 7-year-old recently lost her hair, but her style on Crazy Hair Day was amazing.

In January, 7-year-old Gianessa "Nessa" Wride's hair started falling out. Not just stray strands, but clumps.

It's a scary prospect for adults seven times her age, let alone a child who hasn't even mastered long division yet.  Her mother, Daniella Wride, took it hard.

"I think I took it harder than she did; I would just bawl and cry sometimes,” Wride told local Salt Lake City station KUTV.


Daniella made an appointment for her daughter at the local dermatologist, but by the time she was seen, Nessa's hair was completely gone.

Photo by iStock.

Nessa was diagnosed with alopecia, a condition that results in sudden hair loss.

It occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. The condition has no cure, but is treated with a corticosteroid or, quite simply, patience. Occasionally, the hair loss comes and goes within a year, but 10% of people will never regrow their hair, especially those who are diagnosed at a young age or have a family history of the condition.

It would be easy for most newly bald kids to feel down about Crazy Hair Day at school, but not Nessa.

When Crazy Hair Day was announced, the bubbly first-grader wanted to participate. Mother and daughter worked together to come up with the perfect solution: scrapbooking stickers!

Nessa rocked stick-on gems in cool sparkly patterns, including an owl and flowers.

"She's just so funky and vibrant and she loves everything sparkly," Daniella says.

Nessa looked amazing, and her classmates thought so too.

"When we pulled up to the drop-off lane at school, Gianessa opened the car door and you could already hear people saying things like, 'Oh that's so awesome!' 'That's so cool!,'" Daniella shares. "Gianessa got home from school and she said that all the kids kept swarming her and telling her that they loved her crazy hair, and that they wanted to be just like her."

No matter who you are or the hand you're dealt, positivity is powerful.

It's not always easy. In fact, some days it's downright hard. But a little hope and optimism can go a long away toward making a your day a little better. And maybe someone else's too.

Here's to you, Nessa! Keep shining!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

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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.