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.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

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When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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