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When Colbert saw a wish list of hundreds of teachers from his home state, he delivered.

Stephen Colbert became a hero of political satire for fans all over the country. But his latest act of badassery has made him a hero to a bunch of kids.

When Colbert saw a wish list of hundreds of teachers from his home state, he delivered.

Stephen Colbert is a badass.

His show, "The Colbert Report," ran strong for nine years, earning him a pile of awards, a multi-generational cult following and the chance to take over "The Late Show" when David Letterman retired in 2015. Like I said, he's a badass.


Image via "The Late Show with David Letterman."

While he's between gigs, Colbert has mostly kept all that badassery out of the public eye. But then I heard about this:

GIF via GreenvilleOnline.

In a live-streamed announcement to Alexander Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina, Colbert had happy news to share.

"I am happy to say that as a product of the South Carolina public school system ... using the proceeds from the sale of my old set on 'The Colbert Report' that we auctioned off, and with generous matching funds from the Morgridge Family Foundation and ScanSource, DonorsChoose is going to flash fund all 1,000 projects in South Carolina."

DonorsChoose is a charity crowdfunding site for "classrooms in need." Teachers from schools with tight budgets can use the site to generate funds for the supplies they need to offer the best education they can to their students.

Hundreds of South Carolina teachers posted thousands of project requests totaling $800,000.

Their needs ranged from books for girls to exercise equipment for special-needs students to custom tables and other items that would make a big difference for South Carolina's cash-strapped public schools.

Colbert, who grew up in South Carolina, wanted to see every one of their goals for the year fulfilled.

GIF from "The Colbert Report."

And with the support of a few big sponsors, he raised enough money to meet the funding goals of every outstanding grant request posted by a South Carolina teacher on DonorsChoose this year.

I know what you're thinking: This is great. Stephen Colbert is such a badass.

And that's exactly how I feel about it. But a little context really accentuates the greatness of Colbert's initiative.

South Carolina has one of the lowest-ranked public school systems in the U.S.

According to WalletHub, the South Carolina public school system ranks 42nd (out of 51) in overall performance, which takes into account factors like drop-out rates, teacher-to-student ratios, test scores, graduates' likelihood of completing a college degree, and even reported incidents of bullying.

Image via WalletHub.

And the state isn't making the investments it needs to step up its public education game.

WalletHub ranks South Carolina 36th in K-12 public school spending.

Image via WalletHub.

South Carolina would be wise to change that — as would every other low-performing state when it comes to education.

According to the Economic Policy Institute:

"States can build a strong foundation for economic success and shared prosperity by investing in education. Providing expanded access to high quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do."

Hopefully they'll figure it out. But meanwhile, send your digital high-fives to Stephen Colbert for being one badass of a do-gooder.

GIF via "The Colbert Report."

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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