This charity's approach to tackling poverty is game-changing.
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TOMS One for One

An organization called The Magic Bus is turning the fight against poverty on its head — by using games.

While living and working in Mumbai, India, Magic Bus founder Matthew Spacie realized that simply providing jobs to young people in poverty isn't enough. Without the social and mental tools necessary for employment, these young people are often unable to keep jobs once they get them.

How does Magic Bus aim to teach children these important skills? Games!


The Magic Bus uses sports and other physical activities to mentor children in impoverished communities. Each of the 40 sessions per year teaches children about education, gender, health, and key issues affecting them.

Sports are easily translated into real life lessons:


GIFs via Magic Bus USA/YouTube.

And they don't only play sports.

After a game is over, mentors talk to the kids and teens about how real-life is like the game. They might discuss obstacles that kids face in getting to school and come up with ideas on how to help those kids make it.

Not only that, but many mentors come from the communities themselves, meaning kids can have role models who share their life experiences.

According to Magic Bus, "Nearly all the youth end up pursuing higher studies and/or enrolling in our employability program."

In India, it is estimated that 423 million people will be unemployed in the next 15 years.

That's a lot.

But even if they find a job, about 60% of the young people looking for work in India didn't have the skills to actually do the jobs they applied for.

These are skills like work ethic, confidence, and emotional intelligence. When children live below the poverty line, they often miss out on these skills. While most charities focus on job placement alone, Magic Bus addresses problems that help young people not only acquire jobs, but keep them.

Magic Bus' success is staggering.

The organization reported programs in 3,500 communities in 2013, teaching approximately 200,000 children and teens every week. The charity is set to reach an incredible 4,500,000 children in 22 states in India this year.

Wouldn't it be cool to get involved with a program like this? The Magic Bus is spreading its program to other countries too, including the U.S. and the U.K. You can check out their volunteering page for info about volunteering in a number of countries.

Don't just take it from me. Listen to some awesome young ladies share their success

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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.