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Three women defied sexist expectations to become some of the most important allies in WWII.

With the season finale of Marvel's spy show "Agent Carter" airing tonight (Feb. 24, 2015), take a look at some real badass spy women.

Three women defied sexist expectations to become some of the most important allies in WWII.

In "Agent Carter," Peggy Carter does a million awesome things, from using spy gadgets to fighting sleeper agents. Here are some of the real women she could have been based on.


1. Andreé Borrel

Like Peggy, Andreé knew her way around a parachute.

After a successful career of leading Allied troops out of occupied France via an underground railway to Spain, Burrell was one of the first women to parachute into France in September 1942 after joining the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a covert British organization. By March 1943, she had become second in command of the local network. That's badass.

2. Nancy Wake

Carter knows how to use lethal force when necessary. And so did Nancy Wake. Another member of the SOE, Nancy Wake led a spectacular life: By the time she was 30, she had run away from her home in New Zealand, lived in London and New York, had become a nurse, and finally had become a journalist. She was in Europe when the Nazis rose, witnessing and reporting on terrible things in the process.


In the war, before becoming a member of the SOE, among other things, she was a courier in the French Resistance, was the Gestapo's most wanted person for her part of the escape network, and earned the nickname "The White Mouse" for her ability to never be captured. Oh, and with her fellow resistance members, she killed 1,400 SS soldiers, NBD.

3. Virginia Hall

Could you imagine having six different identities to keep track of? Or driving a manual transmission ambulance through a war zone? Or having to take over your superior's courier duties because they were captured and the very same thing might happen to you? Could you imagine having to do that with one foot?


Virginia Hall did. After being put on the German's most wanted list, she, like Carter, went undercover. Unlike Carter, though, her undercover assignment was a lot less glamorous. She disguised herself, doing farm work in France while training resistance groups.

Badass.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.