This tear-jerking PSA shows a homeless woman discussing the one item she never let go.

The last thing Dawn Miller remembers after coming down with a sudden splitting headache in her Florida condo was calling an ambulance.

Then, it all went dark.

“I must have passed out," she recalls of that terrifying night in 2014. "Because the next thing I remember was three weeks later, waking up in the hospital.” When she came to, confused and with part of her head shaved, Miller learned she'd had an aneurism. She was lucky to be alive.


However, that's about the same time it felt like Miller's luck ran out.

Despite working two jobs, the medical costs Miller accumulated in the hospital were too much for her to handle. Eventually, as a new PSA from the Robin Hood Foundation notes, she became homeless. With the money she had left, Miller left Florida for her hometown of New York, believing there'd be more services for struggling people like her in NYC than in the Sunshine State. It was there, standing in a crowded, overwhelming transit hub asking others for help, when the realities of homelessness really hit her.

“I was in shock,” she said. “Once I got here, standing with my suitcases in Port Authority, I felt like I could break down and cry.”

She lost everything ... well, almost everything.

Throughout her experience being homeless, the one thing Miller never let go of was her college diploma.

She'd gone back to school at the age of 42. She graduated from Pace University with a degree in communications. She knows what it means — and what it takes — to work hard and achieve your goals.

"I graduated with a 3.71 GPA," she says. "I did very well. I was very proud of myself. And every time I look at my degree, I have something to be proud of.”

In some ways, just holding on to the diploma reminded her that she's a fighter. And it helped her find a path to a better life.

Miller is part of a new series called "The Things They Carry," where she appears along with four other people who've experienced homelessness discussing an item they never let go of.

The video is by the Robin Hood Foundation, a poverty-fighting group based in New York City. A man named William held on to a pair of pants he wore every day on the streets. "I keep these jeans here to remind myself of where I come from," he said.

For Hector, it was a wallet his mother gave him years ago. "The wallet saved me," Hector says in the PSA, explaining how just remembering his mother stopped him from killing himself moments before he was about to do so. "I always keep it for myself."

Thanks to a few helping hands, things are looking up for Miller.

She discovered Urban Pathways, a program of Robin Hood's focused on fighting homelessness in New York. Now Miller has a part-time job and expects to be living in a new home in the Bronx, before Christmas.

She hasn't forgotten what it felt like that day in Port Authority, though — that devastating feeling like she'd lost it all. She hopes her story inspires others to see the world a little bit differently too.

“Keep an open mind and an open heart when you’re dealing with someone less fortunate," she says, noting homelessness can come out of nowhere. "It can hit anybody."

Watch Miller's heart-wrenching PSA, part of "The Things They Carry," below:

"This is my college degree. It means to me that I'm a fighter."Dawn is a formerly homeless New Yorker and was helped by a #RHFunded organization.Each week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will be sharing the story of a NYer who overcame homelessness. What’s it like to lose everything? What do you fight to keep? How do you choose? These are their stories. These are The Things They Carry. http://bit.ly/2gkhaFl

Posted by Robin Hood Foundation on Thursday, November 24, 2016
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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."

Edgar Allan Poe

More than 150 years ago, Edgar Allen Poe, literary icon and father of gothic horror, died a dark and untimely death. His demise is shrouded in so much mystery, the story could easily be plucked from the pages of one of his books.

(Cue thunder and lightning.)

Edgar Allen Poe is a name synonymous with suspense and dark romance. His poem "The Raven" is a classic that still appears in modern pop culture, and yes, a football team named themselves after it. Without his book "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," the world's very first detective story, we very well might not have the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. His beloved moody aesthetic has even inspired other prolific cultural icons such as Salvador Dali and Alfred Hitchcock, according to Biography.

And with the recent news that Mike Flanagan, creator of Netflix's "The Haunting of Hill House," will be adapting "The Fall of the House of Usher" into a series, Poe's name is buzzing around yet again.


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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!