This couple left the big city for their son with autism. See their home now.

Shortly after Greg Masucci and Maya Wechsler celebrated their son Max's third birthday, they received some tough news.

"When you get a diagnosis of autism, there's no playbook really," Greg said.

Children with autism spectrum disorder can have difficulty developing relationships, and they often struggle with both verbal and nonverbal communication. There's also the dangerous habit that some kids like Max have of wandering off.


It's a huge challenge for any family. And Greg and Maya quickly found that their hectic urban lifestyle just wasn't working for the family anymore.

So they said goodbye to their city life in Washington, D.C., and bought a small farm in Virginia.

There, in the serene quiet of the countryside, Max is free to run and play. Greg and Maya make the time to homeschool him, and for two hours a day, he interacts with kids his age at a public school.

They make their living in part by operating an organic produce business that only employs other folks with disabilities. And while it might be a bit unusual, it's working. Greg and Maya say every member of the family is thriving in their new home.

"I think you have to mourn the death of the child you thought you were going to have. And enjoy the child that you do have in front of you," Greg said.

For this couple and their kids, despite all of the challenges they've faced, life has never been better.

See how uprooting their lives has brought this family together in this touching video:

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.