Why one mom left a pile of clean diapers and wipes in a HomeGoods bathroom.

When Christina Causland stopped in a bathroom at the HomeGoods in Solana Beach, California, she found an unexpected surprise: a pile of diapers.

Unused, luckily. Sitting atop the small pile of wipes and diapers was a small note. It read:

"I once found myself in this exact same spot with a newborn with a crazy blowout and NO DIAPERS or WIPES. An unmitigated disaster, that was! Just in case you have found yourself in the same sort of pickle, I brought in some wipes and diapers to save the day. Good luck out there! Happy Holidays! —Sarah"

I don't know you Sarah, but you're a gem! #gooddeeds #upworthy #HomeGoods #mademyday


A photo posted by ✌️😆🐞 (@xtina_cauz) on

Christina doesn't have any kids of her own, but she was so touched by this stranger's act of kindness that she decided to share it on Instagram.

"I can definitely relate to being in a pinch and not having what I needed," she explains in an e-mail. "I mostly just wanted to highlight her good deed and pass it along in hopes it would inspire others to do so."

We've all found ourselves in similar situations. Maybe instead of missing a diaper, you were a dollar short in the checkout line at the grocery store or maybe you had car trouble away from home with no one around to help. No matter what the case, we all know what it's like being in unfortunate and embarrassing situations — and how grateful we feel when a complete stranger comes to the rescue.

Sometimes you just need a little help. Photo by iStock.

Little things like stocking a store restroom with some emergency diapers can make a big difference in people's lives. During the holiday season, it's a great time to reflect on what our own contributions to the world can be.

As the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. To a frustrated mom in an unenviable situation, Sarah came to the rescue. The same thing can be seen in the world all around us, from the Philadelphia restaurant known for its "pay-it-forward" approach to pizza to the stranger who picked up the tab for a Texan's auto repairs to people just doing their best to make positivity contagious.

Sure, there are a lot of bad things out there, a lot of negativity that permeates society. But if there's one thing that can warm the heart of cynics everywhere, it's knowledge that the world is filled with small-scale superheroes — we just have to look for them. And if we can't find them, we should do our best to be them.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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