This pregnant waitress was saved by a $900 tip, but that's not how it should be.

For seven years, Sarah Clark has worked as a waitress and bartender at Pita Jungle in Phoenix, Arizona.

It's the kind of place where people order hummus plates, gyros, and maybe a couple of beers. The work keeps Clark on her feet all day, and now that she's nine months pregnant, it's the kind of job that she needs even more, with her baby due on Jan. 8, 2017.

Clark working at Pita Jungle. Image via Inside Edition/YouTube.


Like far too many expectant parents in this country, Clark won't have any income after her baby is born. To make matters worse, her husband is out of work and about to undergo surgery for a leg injury. As reported by local CBS station KPHO, Clark has been working as much as she can, to make extra tips, at a time when many doctors recommend women stay off their feet.

But suddenly, a little bit of generosity arrived just in time.

A customer she'd see a few times before — a woman who is also pregnant — had left her an unusual tip after picking up a takeout order. Looking down at the thin slip of paper, it must have  looked like a mistake — a $900 tip on an order of $61.30.

The $900 tip Clark received. Image via Inside Edition/YouTube.

"Nine hundred dollars is a lot of money. It took a while for it to set in, and once it did I cried," she said.

"You always hear about these happening, but you never expect to be the recipient of it," Clark told KPHO. "It’s a huge, huge help for me and my family."

While the kind stranger in this story should be applauded for her generosity, no working family's financial security should depend on a random act of kindness.

The United States is one of a small handful of industrialized countries that does not offer paid maternity leave.

Things are particularly bleak in the service industry. According to Bloomberg, only 6% of service workers (such as waiters and sales clerks) get any paid leave at all. So time spent recovering from birth, bonding with your child, and adjusting to parenthood is limited by what you can afford.

The lack of paid parental leave limits parents' ability to bond with their newborn children. Photo via iStock.

On top of that, Clark works a tip-based job. So her employers are legally allowed to pay her well below the minimum hourly wage, expecting that her tips will make up for it.  

However, we can celebrate the U.S. companies that have recently offered paid parental leave in an attempt to catch up to the rest of the world.

Netflix announced in 2015 that it would give employees up to 12 months of parental leave to their salaried employees, and IKEA recently announced a four-month paid leave policy for its U.S. employees. Company by company and state by state, employers and lawmakers are beginning to recognize the necessity for paid parental leave.

It's not just a convenience either. It's the right thing to do for families and businesses.

Paid parental leave should be the standard for all new parents. Photo via iStock.

Paid leave for new parents has been shown to improve employee retention at companies and reduce the need for public assistance like food stamp programs. When Google increased their paid maternity leave from 12 to 18 weeks, they noticed the benefits quickly:

"Mothers were able to take the time they needed to bond with their babies and return to their jobs feeling confident and ready," wrote YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in an op-ed. "And it's much better for Google's bottom line — to avoid costly turnover, and to retain the valued expertise, skills, and perspective of our employees who are mothers."

Clark was lucky to serve such a generous customer, but her ability to comfortably raise a child shouldn't be a Christmas miracle. It should be the least she could ask for.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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