+

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
All photos courtesy of Albertsons
True

Summer is officially over, which means we’re looking for any excuse to get together and watch a game or grill outside in the cooling temperatures.

The thing about hosting though is figuring out what to feed your guests—especially with rising prices all around. And frankly, everyone is sick of pizza.

Keep ReadingShow less

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

Keep ReadingShow less

A tiger at the Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary and a mugshot of Joe Exotic from Santa Rosa County Jail.

Netflix’s “Tiger King” will go down in history as the collective distraction that helped America get through the dark, depressing days of early COVID-19 lockdowns. The show followed the true story of the feud between private zoo owner Joe Exotic, the self-described “gay, gun-carrying, redneck with a mullet,” and Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue.

Exotic is currently serving out a 21-year prison sentence for animal rights abuses and hiring someone to kill Baskin.

The show was a raucous look inside the world of big cat owners and brought a lot of attention to the animal abuse that runs rampant in the industry. The light it shed on the industry was so bright it led Congress to take action. The Senate unanimously passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act on December 6. The House had already passed the bill in July.

The White House has signaled that President Biden will sign the bill into law.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

Firmbee/Canva

Google's 2022 Year in Search report shows what trended this year.

There's a lot you can tell about a person by their search history (unless they're a murder-mystery writer, in which case no one should jump to conclusions). And our search habits on the whole can tell us a lot about ourselves as a collective as well.

For better or for worse, what we look up on the internet is an indicator of what we care about, and Google's Year in Search report gives us some insight into what we cared about this past year.

There are reports for different countries as well as a global report. Let's start with what my fellow Americans looked up, shall we?

Keep ReadingShow less