This mom's viral story of strangers' kindness illustrates how it truly 'takes a village.'

Any parent who's traveled alone with small children knows that the struggle is real.

Traveling with kids is fun, except for the actual traveling part. It's challenging enough to wrangle small children with two parents, but when you're soloing it on a trip with wee ones, it becomes a whole other ballgame.

Something as basic as using the bathroom becomes an enormous ordeal when you have to try to squeeze your luggage and little ones into a bathroom stall, try keep the preschooler from licking the door handle, try to juggle the baby while you do your business, and then repeat the process again to simply wash your hands. Throw in a couple of good, old-fashioned toddler tantrums for funsies, and the joy of traveling alone with kids becomes painfully apparent.


This mom's viral Facebook post about the kindness of strangers illustrates how it truly "takes a village."

Facebook user Becca Kinsey shared a story about what happened when she took a recent flight with her 2-year-old and 5-year-old. The trip wasn't going so well (shocker!), but some fellow moms who've undoubtedly been there stepped in to save the day.

So I thought it was a good idea to fly by myself with a 2 yr old and a 5 year old 😐 we were standing in line in...

Posted by Becca Kinsey on Friday, December 7, 2018

Kinsey shared a photo of one of the women holding her son and told the whole story:

So I thought it was a good idea to fly by myself with a 2 yr old and a 5 year old 😐 we were standing in line in security, on the verge of tears because Wyatt was screaming and James was exhausted. Out of the blue, one mom stops the line for security and says “here, jump in front of me! I know how it is!” Wyatt fell asleep and I was trying to carry everyone’s carry-on when another mom jumps out of her place in line and says “hand me everything, I’ve got it”. When I said thank you to both of them they said “don’t you worry, we’re going to make sure you get on that flight.” The second woman takes evvvverything and helps me get it through security and, on top of all that, she grabs all of it and walks us to the gate to make sure we get on the flight. To top it all off, Wyatt starts to scream at take off before he finally falls back to sleep. After about 45 min, this angel 👇🏼 comes to the back and says “you look like you need a break” and holds Wyatt for the rest of the flight AND walks him all the way to baggage claim, hands him to blake, hugs me and says “merry Christmas!!”

Alllll the warm fuzzies right there. Isn't this the way it should always go?

These women took what could have been a terrible travel experience for this little family and made it a heartwarming story of solidarity and support.

The saying, "It takes a village to raise a child" isn't just about the benefits a child gets from having multiple caregivers. It's also about the vital help a parent receives from those around them who've ridden in this rodeo, who understand what moms or dads might need in the moment, and who step up to help out without hesitation.

Kind strangers are heroes in this world. Becca Kinsey met three of them in one trip, which is wonderful. The more we hear stories like this and realize how much of an impact small acts of kindness can make, the more people will go out of their way to help when they see someone struggling.

Kinsey is now paying that kindness forward with a fundraiser for kids with life-changing illnesses.

Kinsey's post went viral over the weekend, with more than 120,000 shares and counting. So she took advantage of the post's popularity and added an invitation for people to donate $5 to Kidd's Kids, a non-profit organization whose mission is to "provide hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering conditions."

Kidd's Kids organizes trips to Disney World for kids with life-changing illness, and since Kinsey's trip with her kids was to Disney World, the organizations seemed like a fitting way to pay it forward.

EDITED!! Pay it forward :) We were on our way home from Disney World when 3 amazing women stepped up and helped me out. What if everyone that shared the story went to Kidd's Kids and made a $5 donation?! Kidd's Kids take children with life-threatening and life-altering conditions on a 5 day trip to Disney World so they can have a chance to forget at least some of the day to day stressors and get to experience a little magic!!' DONATE HERE!! https://www.facebook.com/kiddskids/

Is there anything better than strangers helping strangers?

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
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In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love 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!

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."