We share everything on social media. Why not use your social power to make a difference?
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Johnson & Johnson Caring Crowd

We share so much happiness on social media.

Photo courtesy of CaringCrowd.

Whether it's a birthday, a wedding, or a graduation, we've always got the camera ready to shoot pics and video for an epic Snapchat or Instagram story. We like, comment on and share the successes of others. And we love to share what matters most to us.


That's just how we're wired. Research even suggests that sharing our best moments gives our brain a hit of the "good feeling" chemical, dopamine.  It makes us feel closer to our loved ones, even when we can't be there for their happiest times in person.

Now imagine what we could achieve if we harnessed all that good energy and used it to regularly share posts on the social good projects we care about.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash.

As we've seen time and time again, Facebook and Twitter aren't just sites for sharing memories — they're also a great way to get information out about the causes we believe in. What's more, we can use our social feeds to let our friends, families and co-workers know how they can support those causes, too.

That's why Johnson & Johnson created CaringCrowd®. It's a new type of crowdfunding platform, where your passion fuels projects that are integral to promoting human health. All you have to do is choose a project that speaks to you, make a pledge to help it reach its funding goal, and share your support on social media. Pretty easy, right?

In a world where crowds and unity have power, CaringCrowd empowers you and everyone you know to make a difference, together. The platform is enabling people to take on everything from the  clean water crisis to mental health stigma.

When you pledge and share, you're not just giving money, you're driving awareness throughout your entire network. Showing that you care can create a small ripple of engagement that can turn into a whole movement.

And that's not just a theory. The power of the crowd has already achieved so much.

Photo courtesy of CaringCrowd.

CaringCrowd is working on a multitude of projects that can change the world.  Through pledging and sharing, the platform has made it possible for mothers and grandmothers in Malawi to get the resources they need to raise healthy children. Supporters are working to raise stroke awareness and promote rehabilitation for survivors and their families at The Rocky Mountain Stroke Center. And pledgers are helping Inspire Inc create new workshops that will help 200 foster youth and their families learn how to cope with stress and hard times.

All of these projects were created by people who want to affect positive change and ease suffering. They were created by people who care and aren't afraid to show it. They were created by people exactly like you.

Now it's your turn to show the world the issues you care about.

Photo courtesy of CaringCrowd.

While anyone can submit a project on CaringCrowd, they are taking it one step further.  If you submit a one-minute video sharing who you are, what health issue you care about, and why we need to take action now on the site before December 31st, you'll be entered into a competition in which the top three entries will be judged by the crowd at SXSW. The winning clip will be turned into a professionally produced video for CaringCrowd.

You have the power to make the world a better place right now. It starts with your passion, and ends with your ability to rally people behind it.

For more on CaringCrowd and the competition, check out the video below:

What global health cause do you care about?

In our connected world, the power of the crowd can spread a message, create change, and make a difference.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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