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What one man's anger can teach us about the way we treat welfare recipients.

The possessions of welfare recipients are not our business. Period.

Here's a sweet Christmas story for you: Timmy* really loved his big sister. So one year, he decided he was going to give her a big surprise for Christmas.

*Not his real name, but this story is inspired by a real Tumblr thread.


Photo via marcisim/Pixabay.

He wanted to buy her a Nintendo DS Lite. Since their family was poor, Timmy knew he would have to work really hard and save money to get her the gift.


For months, Timmy worked hard to earn money. He was so determined to treat his sister that he pushed past his social anxiety to ask neighbors if there were any chores he could do for them.

After nine months of counting his earnings every day to track his progress, his hard work paid off.

He had earned enough to buy a DS Lite and a Pokémon game to go with it.


Awww. <3 GIF via "Pokemon."

But that's where the story takes a turn.

A few weeks after Christmas, a neighbor saw Timmy and his sister with the system outside their house. He approached them and yelled at them. Why?

He felt entitled to comment on their possessions because their family was on food stamps.

According to his sister — who told this story in a Tumblr thread — the neighbor's words stayed with Timmy for years. He started to withdraw from friends and avoided going outside for fear of running into the neighbors.

But a person's possessions only tell a small part of someone's story.

What does being poor look like? The truth is that there is no one answer.

Many people have assumptions about what living in poverty should look like, but it's important to remember that every situation is different. And there's an infinite number of possible paths to poverty. One possession does not cancel out financial hardship, whether it's a designer purse, refrigerator, or a Ph.D.

We're taught that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover. That rule still applies when we're talking about people living in poverty.

Imagine how much better our world would be if we took the energy spent judging people on social assistance programs and put it towards fixing the problems that led them there in the first place?

Read the screenshot of the entire Tumblr thread that inspired this piece below:

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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