When a boy's doctors said he might not live through December, his town moved Christmas to October.

This was what downtown St. George, Ontario, looked like ... on Oct. 24.

Photograph: Patrick McEachern, used with permission.


The small Canadian town rallied together to celebrate Christmas early for 7-year-old Evan Leversage, who has been fighting a terminal brain tumor for most of his life.

Evan, with Santa. Photograph: Patrick McEachern, used with permission.

When word came from Evan's doctors that he would most likely not survive until Dec. 25, Evan's family planned to hold a small, family Christmas on Oct. 19.

The decision to throw a full-on, community-wide early Christmas party began when Evan's cousin Shelly Wellwood went into town to ask business owners if they wouldn't mind putting their holiday lights up a little early.

Brandy King, a local florist and business owner, posted Wellwood's request to Facebook, where it went viral and resulted in hundreds of offers to help Evan's family celebrate.

"They were overwhelmed by the support," King told Upworthy.

So on Oct. 24, the town held a huge Christmas parade for Evan.

The early Christmas came complete with snow, colored lights, dozens of floats, and, of course, Santa Claus.

And SpongeBob. Photograph: Ida Adamowicz, used with permission.

According to King, over 7,000 people showed up to celebrate with Evan — in a town of only 3,000. More than 240 people, businesses, and other groups offered to make floats, which would have made it bigger than the Macy's parade (it was ultimately pared down to 25, which is what the town's streets could accommodate).

Evan even got to ride in Santa's sleigh.

"It was a bit like walking in a dream," King said. "It was such a short period of time from initially seeing the poster to having this beautiful parade with thousands of people showing up. It certainly restores your hope and faith in humanity to see that kind of outpouring of support."

Photograph: Patrick McEachern, used with permission.

As Evan's story spread, help and well-wishes continued to pour in — even from outside of St. George.

Evan's cousins launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover food and living expenses for Evan, his siblings, and parents. As of Oct. 27, 2015, it had surpassed $40,000 in donations.

Meanwhile, Evan's family is incredibly grateful to their community for throwing an unforgettable Christmas for their son, brother, and cousin.

Photograph: Patrick McEachern, used with permission.

King, who helped organize the event, believes that in times of crisis, people come together and rise to the challenge — they just sometimes need to be asked.

"What I hope that people will realize is that everyone has their own village," King said. "Even if you live in a big city, the borough that you live in is your village, and start treating people like your neighbors again."

More

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture