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.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

'Tina, she's gay!': Harry Styles helped a fan come out to her mom in spectacular fashion.

No stranger to being an advocate for treating people with kindness, gentleman heartthrob Harry Styles gave some straightforward dating advice mid-concert that left female fans feeling empowered.

During his Love On Tour stop in Detroit, Styles found a fan holding a sign that read, "Should I text him?" which received boos among the crowd. However, in typical Harry fashion, his reply was simply, "is he nice to you?"

You can watch the full video here:


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