More

Who will help you write the happiest possible ending to your very first love story?

They were the first ones to give us the love and care we needed. When they're in need, how do we give it back?

Who will help you write the happiest possible ending to your very first love story?

Did you know there are 5 million people over 85 in the U.S. today?

And that will double by 2035?

If you have an older loved one, you know what a struggle it can be for them. Simple things that we do without thinking, like walking or grocery shopping, become nearly impossible challenges when your body just doesn't work the way it used to.

It can be heartbreaking when someone we love goes through this.

But who's going to help?

We're all so busy, with careers to build, families to manage, and other commitments, and it's often hard to work out what to do to help an older loved one.


As hard as it can be, adult children who can find the time — and have the right kind of relationship with the older person — may find the experience incredibly fulfilling. With the older person vulnerable in a way she or he never was, new opportunities for a profoundly deep, equal friendship appear. And a refocusing of what's really important makes the good moments so, so good.

In other situations, a professional caregiver can be the answer. Some people are finding professional caregiving to be a deeply rewarding career choice. It allows them to make a real difference in someone's life. And a caregiver/client arrangement can turn into an irreplaceable, life-changing relationship.

If we're lucky enough for our elders to live a long time — and if we're that lucky ourselves — we realize what an important role caregivers of all kinds play.

The pay for professional caregivers, though, is unfairly low.

It's often less than $10 an hour. Pretty shocking considering how vital these people are to so many families. We need to encourage good people to go into this line of work so when our families need them, they're there. And, of course, when a caregiver makes the life of someone you love livable, there just aren't enough thanks in the world.

Three women tell their personal stories about caregiving from three different angles.

True

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.