This group raised $1 million in just 9 hours to help kids at the border. Here's how.

Last week, news of children being torn from their parents' arms at the U.S.-Mexican border broke many Americans' hearts.

Author and activist Glennon Doyle was one of those Americans. She saw babies, toddlers, and preschoolers being forcibly separated from their parents — even families seeking asylum — and placed in separate detention centers, neither knowing where the other is going.

She knew she had to do something.


Doyle and the rest of her nonprofit, Together Rising, got on the phone and talked to people on the ground who work with immigration. They found out that the best way to help these families was by providing bilingual advocates and legal representation.

So Doyle's team set up an "Emergency Love Flash Mob" with a fundraising goal of $350,000 to hire a legal team to represent 60 children in an Arizona detention center.

A Love Flash Mob is Together Rising's way of getting lots of people to make online donations in a short time frame, usually one day.

They make the announcement on social media, ask folks to share a link to the donation page, and encourage as many people to give as possible. They usually request that people cap their individual donations at $25, but this time they didn't set a limit.

Image via Together Rising.

Doyle, who writes on her website Momastery, has a motto: "There is no such thing as other people's children."

This forced separation is meant to be a deterrent for people trying to cross the border, but it's mind-bogglingly cruel. "There are some non-negotiables," Doyle says, "We know immigration is complicated. We understand that. But still — not this. We have to as a country be able to say, 'No matter what, we are not going to strip babies from their mother's hands.'"

Not. This.

So, when Doyle's followers (whom she dubs "Love Warriors") got wind of the Emergency Love Flash Mob, they showed up in droves. At one point, Glennon says, they were getting 8,000 donations an hour.

Instead of $350,000, the community raised $1 million — in just nine hours.

Since then, the total has risen to $1.5 million.

EMERGENCY LOVE FLASH MOB FOR THE CHILDREN!!! https://togetherrising.org/give/“We met a terrified six-year-old blind...

Posted by Glennon Doyle on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Now those 60 kids will at least have a fighting chance of being reunited with their parents.

In addition, funds will go to The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights to send a social worker and lawyer to the border to help cut down on some of the trauma and confusion for these families. The remaining funds will go to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. that provide free legal aid for immigrants.

But they didn't stop there. The Love Warriors also flash-mobbed Congress with phone calls.

Social action is awesome in the short term, but civic action is vital for the long game. So, the day after the Love Flash Mob, Doyle published a simple, step-by-step tutorial for contacting congressional representatives to voice disapproval for this policy.

The post includes links to finding your district, your representative, your representative's phone number, and suggested scripts.

TUESDAY, TOGETHER RISING ASKED YOU HELP US SOME PULL SOME DROWNING FAMILIES FROM THE RIVER.Together, you raised 1.45...

Posted by Glennon Doyle on Thursday, May 31, 2018

Organizing a million-dollar fundraiser in just a few days might seem like a huge effort, but for Doyle, it's just part of doing the right thing.

Love Flash Mobs usually take weeks to plan, but Doyle and her team know how to step it up for an immediate and dire need. When government fails the most vulnerable, it's up to regular people to assume the role of offering assistance.

"It's empowering," says Doyle. "I think sometimes it takes a democracy to be threatened for people to understand that this is what democracy looks like ... There are some people that are guilty, but we are all responsible."

"It's going to be harder to change the legislation than it is to raise money for these babies," she says. "But our people are on that, too."

And after all, is there anything more beautiful than people showing up to help people and making their voices heard?

Maybe seeing babies back in their mothers' arms. Yes. That.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less
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.