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Why these 77 alternatives to Black Friday are way cooler than that new gadget.

So you’re thinking of getting up at 3 a.m. on Black Friday?

Image via iStock.

With five barely digested portions of your Thanksgiving dinner in your belly, you're contemplating getting up at 3:00 in the morning. You may not be one of the over 25 million people working retail, and yet, you just know you'll find yourself trudging through the darkness en route to your local shopping center on Friday. It'll probably be cold. You might have that frost/mini-snowflake pattern thing crusting up on your windshield and the defrost won't kick in as fast as you'd like. I get it. You want to get that newest shiny toy for a moderate discount — for you or your family. Totally understandable.


But maybe you don't. Maybe you're going because everyone else is going. Maybe you're going because it's tradition. Maybe you're going just to see if there's anything you want to buy yourself. Maybe you'd rather do anything but shop on the biggest shopping day of the year.

So before you set that pre-dawn alarm on Friday, might I suggest...

77 other things you could do with your time on Black Friday:

1. Call* those who couldn’t be with you and yours on Thanksgiving.

You’ll be surprised how just a simple conversation can mean more than a million thanks.

*yes, call, don’t text

2. Donate to a charity that will help those less fortunate.

(And don’t post about it on social media ... you’ll thank yourself later.)

3. Move that football game with your buddies to Friday instead of Thursday during the day.

You’ll be rested and less likely to break your wrist trying to imitate Odell Beckham Jr. while wearing dungarees.

4. Have you ever tried sleeping in?

I do it once a month and it is the best thing ever.

5. Go to a park.

It will likely be the emptiest it’s ever been (though, if this idea takes off, sorry in advance if you walk into Woodstock).

6. This list is very important:

A book, a blanket, a cuppa, and a window. Trust me.

Image via iStock.

7. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Balance out the abundance of Thanksgiving dinner with providing sustenance for those in need.

8. Write letters.*

To relatives, old friends, Amnesty International, or your favorite teacher or mentor.

*actual letters, not FB messages or anything involving an IP address

9. Listen to the Beatles.

Because there's nothing you can do that can't be done.

10. Make a December 1 resolution.

Get a month ahead of the curve and start those crazy things you’re thinking of doing for two weeks in January.

11. Eat all the leftovers.

Think about how much more of them you can eat if you don’t have to wake up at 3 a.m. to wait in line to buy an off-brand Blu-ray player for $17.

12. Watch all the movies.

There are some amazing movies with and without Benedict Cumberbatch in them out there. You should go see them.

13. Follow up on those things you said you were thankful for the day before.

Sometimes we go though the motion and thank everything we can think of before dinner on Thanksgiving because we’re just sitting there waiting to regret the third serving of canned cranberry. Go through that list and see how you can show your thanks.

14. Research the 2018 midterm elections.

Sorry, did I put you to sleep there? If you want change, now is the time to get involved and see how the races are shaping up. Presidential elections have turned into reality shows ... oh, how they did ... but hardly anyone votes in the midterms because they’re so borrrrring. Look up what happened to Obama’s power in 2010 and if that nightmare isn’t enough to shake up some activism in you, then just wait till Jan. 20.

15. Rewatch every episode of "Westworld" five times.

Because WHAT DOOR?

Image from "Westworld"/HBO.

16. That closet/shed/storage space/shelf/cabinet that has all the stuff in it?

Clean it out, organize it from (a) "Things that you definitely don’t need to keep" to (b) "That wrinkly pea coat that you’ll definitely need in a few weeks."

17. Winter-proof your home!

With 30 years of New England winters under my belt, I feel your cold pain, my northern friends. This is less important for me, living in Los Angeles now, but for those of you in cooler climates, Black Friday is the perfect time to see what energy-saving steps you can take to save money and stay warmer through the winter.

18. Netflix and chill your leftover turkey.

Or reheat it. But make sure you have enough because Netflix will suck you in for days. (Yes, Netflix, I am still watching "Sense8." STOP ASKING ME.)

19. Does "aunt" rhyme with "haunt" or "ant"?

You talk to her roughly three times a year, maybe now's the time to dig down deep and finally answer the question of how it’s pronounced.

20. Plan or dream of a vacation outside your comfort zone.

I hear Argentina is lovely around the last third of January, or perhaps a nice jaunt to Manitoba in the spring. Hop online and do some research on places you’ve never dreamed of going. Hot tip? Mexico City is super affordable, close, and nothing short of stunning.

21. Who is your representative in Congress? Do you know?

Aha! Gotcha! Really, though — imagine there was no Google: How would you get in touch with the most important government employee responsible for representing you? Mine is Adam B. Schiff, and not only is he awesome, but I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing him. His advice on how to have your voice heard? Call your representative. It’s that simple.

Image via iStock.

22. Have a friendly game night.

We all know every game of Monopoly ends up in a huge fight, so plan accordingly, and make sure to bankrupt the uncle who voted for Donald Trump as fast as possible.

23. Check out the latest books at Kirkus Reviews.

I know that this might lead to some kind of shopping. But they just released their "Best Of" lists for the year, and personally, I’m 100% excited to get "Super Extra Grande" before then and just take a minute and #6.

24. Craft day with the kids!

Instead of rushing into a department store and wading around like a sardine trapped in oil all day, grab the kids and grab some crafting materials and just create some hideous — I mean, beautiful — artwork for the fridge.

25. No kids? Craft day with yourself!

No kids here either. (It’s OK. Really. Where is this obsession with everyone having kids? Not everyone wants kids, OK? Some of us just want to do our solo craft projects in peace.)

So let’s make some awesome stuff.

Like…

26. Learn origami.

I’m sure there’s at least one video online that can show you how to make cranes and ... wait, what else is there besides cranes? See? All the more reason to find out.

Image via iStock.

27. Organize all your music.

Maybe you only have "Hamilton" and "Hamilton Mixtape" on repeat — all. the. time. But sometimes when you go searching for your favorite Barenaked Ladies jam, you don’t know if it’s on your phone, iPad, CD, laptop, etc. Take today and get the ball rolling on syncing up all your glorious tunes so that next time you wonder what he says after “Watching X-files with no lights on,” you can cue it up on any device you have handy.

28. Find out how to say “in the house” in French.

29. Rewatch the entire "Back to the Future" trilogy

Yes, Nike released self-tying shoes, the Cubs won, and Biff got elected, but there’s also a happy ending in there ... somewhere.

30. Days and nights at the museums.

How about getting yourself the gift of knowledge, culture, history, art, and more?

Lots of museums have Black Friday events, and while they’ll probably be crowded, they'll likely have less of a "running of the bulls" vibe as your local mall.

31. Don’t cook a single thing.

Get creative with those leftovers. Have you ever had a cranberry/stuffing/sweet potato sandwich on two slices of thick cut turkey? You’re welcome.

But instead of bread, use turkey. Trust me. Image via iStock.

32. Or bake everything.

Main course is all set (see above), but how about the heavenly smell of fresh baked bread, pecan pie, or cinnamon rolls piping through your house as you bask in your decision to not leave the house at 4:00 in the morning to fight over a toy that will be ignored two days after Christmas.

33. Update your Bucket List.

Highlights on mine include: learning to knit, going skydiving, and seeing "Hamilton." What about you?

34. Decide on the best trilogy ever and watch it. All of it. Extended editions too.

"Star Wars"? Indy? "Back to the Future"? "Qatsi"? "Before Midnight"? "Toy Story"? "Lord of the Rings"? "Matrix"? "Twilight" (kidding)?

35. Support local businesses.

Obviously you're avoiding the malls and stores with massive plastic signs, but if you head down to your local “main street” and pop into some of the local family-owned shops, chances are they’ll appreciate your patronage and you’ll be helping your community in more ways than one.

Image via iStock.

36. Bubble. Bath.

When was the last time you just dipped into soapy, bubbly hot goodness and just relaxed?

37. Unplug for a bit.

Try it for a few hours. It’ll be hard and the phantom vibrations will drive you nuts for a the first 20-30 minutes, but then ... oh, then ... you’ll feel 100% more relaxed.

38. Avoid using #blessed.

True enlightenment doesn’t require a data plan.

39. See if you can help out your parents with anything.

I wish I could still do this, so if anything, for me, give them a call, head over, and see if they need help with anything around the house. You know, if you can.  

40. Have a "Monty Python" marathon.

Because with today’s current events, it's so good to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

41. Immerse yourself in "The Crown. "

Wait. You haven’t seen "The Crown"? OK. Well that’s literally your entire Black Friday right there.

Image from "The Crown"/Netflix.

42. Make sure your younger siblings still know who’s in charge.

Noogies were a great method back in the day, but simply making them do the dishes does wonders to reassert your oldest sibling status. It’s the little things.

43. Debate the merits of and rank local cuisine from around the country.

Please share this list with me (hello, I am @LACarlos on Twitter). Currently I have Chicago deep dish pizza above a Philly cheesesteak but that “wiz wit” is making a run for it.

44. Define "materialism."

Let me Google that for you.

45. Have you heard of this website called Upworthy?

If there’s one internet hole you can fall all the way down in, I suggest reading some of the stories you can find on this very website. They’re pretty damn thoughtful and all the smiles and empathy are 100% free.

46. Rank the greatest sports teams of all time.

What metric will you use? Titles? Global reach? David Ortiz? So far, I have the Yankees in second to last place, but of course, any team that appropriates native culture is at the bottom of the list as well.

47. Rewatch "The Godfather" duology.

Because there are only TWO Godfather movies that matter. (Thanks, Sophia.)

48. Follow people you admire online.

Because it would be super sketchy if you did it IRL. Stop trying to make stalking cute, Hollywood. It's not.

49. Order a pizza from a local joint.

If you can, order pizza from a mom-and-pop shop that is probably using the same recipe they’ve had in the family for 100 years instead of from a massive corporation. Eat all the history.

Image via iStock.

50. Use the internet for good.

I joke about certain hashtags, but there are so many out there that are socially conscious and helping to bring about change. Take a look: #YesAllWomen, #BlackLivesMatter, #UmbrellaRevolution, and #WhyIStayed #WhyILeft are some that have made an impact.

51. Make plans to march to the best mall ever on Jan. 21.

You know, with 1 million other women who are also marching. With signs. Justice and liberty for all has no price, after all.

52. Watch a movie and also learn about climate change.

"Before the Flood," a movie produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, and others, is a moving documentary that helps us understand even further the steps we need to take regarding climate change.

53. Write something.

You don’t have to finish it on Friday, but have you ever had an idea for a short story? A book? A poem? An article? It usually takes some guy named Lin-Manuel six-seven years to write something, so don’t feel rushed. Sit back and jot down some ideas and see where your imagination takes you.

54. Make a baby...

You know, if you want to and are totally ready to. Otherwise, make sure you're fully protected.

55. ...or adopt a pet.

Because they are adorable, loyal, always happy, and did I mention adorable? Go to an adoption center and just try to not walk out with a new best friend.  

Image via iStock.

56. Make mulled wine.

It’s so good. (You can totally do this on Thursday as well.) But the smell and the warmth is 100% what Thanksgiving weekend should feel like.

57. Make some handmade gifts.

For example, lazy and delicious handmade vanilla extract. You’ll save money and be the coolest.

58. Get involved in your local government.

You’d be surprised how much thought goes into, “Should we put a stop sign there?” I have friends who felt the same way and a year later they've become elected neighborhood council members; they get to help make the decisions with their constituency. Research it online and make a game plan.

59. Take a hike.

No, really. Grab the friends, family, dog, boots, and bundle up and go for a hike. Who knows how much longer we’ll have these 58 glorious national parks? Might as well enjoy them now.

Image via iStock.

60. Figure out how to play this game well.

When you're done with the Monopoly debacle, try wrapping your head around Go, which is considered the hardest game in the world.  It “possesses more possibilities than the total number of atoms in the visible universe.”

61. Have a video game marathon.

Blow into those cartridges, fire up the ol' Sega Genesis, and demolish all the Sonic levels. (I am definitely not a child of the '80s.)

62. It's Black Friday, so stick to a theme: watch "Black Sails," "Black Mirror," and "Orphan Black."

Jury is still out on "Code Black" though.  

63. Write some cards.

Don’t print them out. Don’t use a template. Go old school here. Jot down some thank-you notes, some well wishes, or even some holiday cheer. Oh, and you have to make sure you send them. So buy stamps.

64. Watch the best coach in sports lose to my home team.

The National Basketball Association seems to be the league having the right kinds of conversations. Gregg Popovich is what all coaches should be. The Boston Celtics are rebuilding. It’s an early game so enjoy it and maybe we’ll have a miracle. There are also plenty of other entertaining games from one of the best sports league in America.

65. Clear the air with your family after awkward election conversations.

So you had some awkward conversations about politics with your relatives. First, take a breather and regroup. But then, if you're up for it, the day after is a good time to revisit why they feel a certain way and what can be done to unite as a whole, starting with your family. If they’re OK with having some respectful dialogue, give it a whirl. If not, remember you probably only need to see them a few times a year.

66. OK, so if you must shop:

See if you can find some gifts that give back, that are socially conscious, that do more than just pick up dust in your random stuff closet.

Image via iStock.

67. Turn your leftovers into a Frankenstein meal.

Have you ever had a turkey/stuffing/cranberry pie made from scratch? Have you ever made potato pancakes on the griddle using just mashed potatoes from the vat from last night? You’re welcome.

68. Marathon some Broadway show tunes and try to sing along.

I’m 100% serious here.

69. Branch out from Broadway. Try local theater.

When’s the last time you went to your local theater? Escapism a wonderful thing, so look up what’s happening in your regional theaters. I bet there are no fewer than 50 "Godspell," "Oklahoma!," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Hello, Dolly!" productions happening right now. Even better? You’ll be supporting local artists and community organizations.

70. Laugh.

There are countless improv troupes, stand-up comedians, and other people who tell jokes in exchange for money out there. Find a local comedy club or comedy show, grab a table, and get ready to laugh uncontrollably.

71. Throw a cuddle party.

Significant other? Puppy? Teddy bear? Comforter? Oversized pillow? Find the position where everything is just perfect, put your phone on mute, and spend a couple hours just dozing with your favorite cuddle buddy.

72. Go all-in on some sweet, sweet nap time.

See 71 above. More of a solo cuddle party kind of person? That’s totally fine because this way no one can judge you for your deafening snoring. The struggle is real.

73. Watch movies about the dystopian future.

Just in case you might actually need those survival skills soon.

74. Donate your old clothes.

Clean out your closet. Get rid of the clothes you don't wear anymore or don't want and find them a better home. Goodwill takes a variety of donations, but did you know there are organizations that specifically accept donated business clothes? Don’t want that old suit? Donate it! It can actually help someone get a job.

75. Paint things every color.

Finger? Watercolor? Spin art? Bob Ross? Your old room? Plan new colors for the new year.

76. Do something you think is childish.

Eat something with your hands. Go play in a pile of leaves. Eat mac and cheese with hot dogs. Draw on the walls. Spin around until you fall over. Watch a Disney movie.

You’ll smile.

77.  Appreciate ... something.

You don’t actually have to do anything today. You could just sit back and appreciate that you have all these options, and more importantly, that you are, hopefully, lucky enough to share them with family, friends, and more.

Image via iStock.

Black Friday doesn't have to be a soul-sucking, manic corporate nightmare if you don't want it to be.

If you love shopping on Black Friday? Sure, go for it. If you need to shop on Black Friday? Do it.  

But you don't have to shop just because everyone else is.

Shopping on Black Friday not only means being away from your family, it also means thousands of workers across the country will be away from theirs, likely working long hours and extended shifts. So if you can, just say "no" to Black Friday shopping, and pick one or two or three of the items on this list to spend your day enjoying instead.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Science

Americans see gardening changes as 'plant hardiness zones' shift across half the U.S.

Here's a quick tool to find out if your zone has changed due to warmer temperatures.

Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash, Map by USDA-ARS and Oregon State University (Public Domain)

The USDA has issued a new Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Millions of American households have a garden of some sort, whether they grow vegetables, fruits flowers or other plants. Gardening has always been a popular hobby, but more Americans turned to tending plants during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic for both stress relief and to grow their own food so they could make less trips to the store. For many people, it's a seasonal ritual that's therapeutic and rewarding.

But a shift is occurring in the gardening world. Now, due to rising temperature data, half the country find themselves in a different "plant hardiness zone"—the zones that indicate what plants work well in an area and when to plant them. Gardeners rely on knowing their hardiness zone to determine what to plant and when, but they haven't been updated since 2012.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture updated its Plant Hardiness Zone Map in late 2023, months before people in most of the country start planning their planting. We saw the 10 hottest summers ever recorded in 174 years of climate data between 2014 and 2023, but hardiness zones are actually determined by the coldest winter temperatures each year. Winters are warming at an even faster pace than summers, according to nonpartisan research and communications group Climate Central, but that may or may not be the entire reason behind the zone changes.

The USDA acknowledges that some of the zone shifts could be due to climate change but cautions against using them as hard evidence for it since factors such as improved data collection also contribute to changes in the map.

people planting flowers

Gardening can be a solo or community endeavor.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

"Temperature updates to plant hardiness zones are not necessarily reflective of global climate change because of the highly variable nature of the extreme minimum temperature of the year, as well as the use of increasingly sophisticated mapping methods and the inclusion of data from more weather stations," the USDA wrote in November 2023. "Consequently, map developers involved in the project cautioned against attributing temperature updates made to some zones as reliable and accurate indicators of global climate change (which is usually based on trends in overall average temperatures recorded over long time periods)."

At the same time, Chris Daly, director of the PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University that developed the map with the USDA, told NPR, "Over the long run, we will expect to see a slow shifting northward of zones as climate change takes hold."

As an example of zone shifting, Dallas, Texas, was classified as Zone 8a in 2012, when data showed the coldest winter temperature in the city was between 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit on average. In 2023, with data showing the coldest winter temps falling between 15 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it's been shifted to Zone 8b.

Some zone shifts resulted in moving to an entirely new zone number, such as Seattle shifting from Zone 8b to Zone 9a. The overall trend was for zones to be pushed northward, but not all areas saw a shift. NPR has a helpful tool here in which you can enter your zip code, see what zone your city was previously in, what zone it's in now, and the temperature changes that caused the shift.

The bottom line is if you have a gardening book with a hardiness zones map printed before 2024, it's time for an updated map. Or check online to see what zone you fall in now to give your garden the best chance of thriving this year.

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.


Categories are great for some things: biology, herbs, and spices, for example.

Image via

But bodies? Well, putting bodies into categories just gets weird. There are around 300 million people in America, but only 12 or so standard sizes for clothing: extra-extra-small through 5x.


That's why designer Mallorie Dunn is onto something with her belief — people have different bodies and sizing isn't catching up.

Dunn has found that the majority of clothing sizes stop at an extra-large, yet the majority of women in America are over that. "And that just doesn't make sense," she says.

All images via Smart Glamor, used with permission.

Human spice rack, only, a LOT more variations of flava. ;)



That's why she started a project around her clothing label, Smart Glamour, to document the bodies of models according to their sizes — and to show how one size can look very different on different bodies.

In pursuit of creating a fashion environment that's kinder to all bodies, Dunn has dedicated herself to educating consumers about sizing.

First, she found 60 people of 12 different sizes and took their pictures.

Then, she put five women at a time in the same size of skirt and shirt to show how diversely beautiful human bodies are and to prove that everyone looks different in clothes no matter what size they have on.

She hoped to show people that 12 sizes don't even come close to capturing the beauty of the human form.

All these models are wearing the same size ... but do they look the same?

"No matter what size you are that's not what dictates your worth or your beauty."

"I had a convo with a friend of mine who was like 'Yeah, if I went from a medium to a large, I'd be fine with it, but if I went from a large to an extra-large, that wouldn't be OK' and I was like, 'Why???' And she had no rational reason behind that," Dunn said, describing a conversation we've all either had, started, or heard. "We've been taught forever that the bigger something sounds, the worse that it is."

Dunn's project also shows just how arbitrary and narrow-minded clothing sizes are.

Sizes really are just numbers.

Unlike the images we are presented both in clothing ads and in entertainment and media, human beings aren't, as Dunn remarked, "robots who come out on a conveyor belt ... we're all shaped differently."

The pressure to look one way is obnoxious. And kinda dangerous.

"We've been taught forever that the bigger something sounds, the worse that it is."

There's so much weight — no pun intended — on being the "right" size.

"You put an 'extra' on top of a 'large,' and suddenly it's the end of the world," Dunn said of her experience in fashion sizing. "... And it really doesn't mean anything, it really only means that there's an extra inch of fabric."

One extra inch of fabric.

3 in 4 girls report feeling depressed, guilty, or shameful after just three minutes of leafing through a fashion mag.

But I'd like to imagine a world where everyone can try on clothes and leave the emotional burden of worrying about fit to the clothes.

Instead, let's focus on what looks good on our bodies. Let the clothes handle the emotional roller coaster of not fitting, and you just live your life in the body you've been given.

Dunn, who has worked for fashion houses for her whole career, puts it bluntly: "Clothes are not made for all bodies. ... We shouldn't then think when something doesn't fit us that it's somehow our fault."

Dunn's models also have a group on Facebook where they support each other, compliment each other, and generally lift each other up. Model Stephanie describes it this way: "We see the beauty in one another and help each other to recognize our own beauty at the same time." Fashion leading to body optimism and confidence? Yes, please.

And Dunn herself drives a hard line when it comes to feeling good in the skin you've been given. Her philosophy is this: No matter what size you are, that's not what dictates your worth or your beauty.

Self-worth not based on appearances. That's a category we can all aspire to "fit" into!


This article originally appeared on 07.27.16

Joy

Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.

Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.

Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.


The volunteer slowly entered the kennel with the terrified dog, crouching on his knees for an easy escape if needed. But the dog attempted to essentially become invisible by avoiding eye contact and staying curled in a tiny ball. It seemed like it was going to take a long time for this nervous pup to warm up.

Before long, he's offered a treat. Success! The brown dog takes the treat, and as minutes pass you can see his body slowly relax, eventually coming to sit directly next to Kanaka for pets. In the few minutes of the video, you see such an amazing transformation that proves this little guy just needed some love.

"It was so cute when he started wagging his tail. You could tell his whole demeanor just changed, and he was happy. Just a few kind words and a little attention. That’s all animals need. Well, besides food. Lol," one commenter says.

"That moment when he starts to realize he's actually safe. That gradual tail wag, and the ears perking, the eyes lighting up. You don't have to be an expert to show an animal love and respect," another writes.

"After that first treat his entire demeanor changed. He went from not trusting you to thinking you may be kind and he could feel less stressed. That was really amazing to see," someone gushes.

This sweet scared dog just needed human connection by someone taking the time to sit with him to know he was safe. Once he was sure the shelter was a safe place, the dog even welcomed those who came to visit him after seeing the video.

"I went to the shelter today to visit 'Bear'! Everyone would be thrilled to hear that he seems very happy and energetic! He has a little red squeaky bone toy that he loves. He licked my hand immediately and rubbed his head on my legs and arms, eager for affection. What a sweetheart," a commenter writes.

Thanks to Kanaka's sweet gesture, the dog, now named Shadow Moon, was adopted and is now living his best life with his new human dad and husky brother. You can follow Shadow Moon's journey on his Instagram page.


This article originally appeared on 12.1.23

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.


Every woman who works in tech — heck, likely every woman on Earth — hears “because you're a girl" dozens, if not thousands, of times in her life.

It starts young, of course:

Why can't I join that team? Because you're a girl.

Why can't I study physics? Because you're a girl.

Then, the comments age with you.

Why can't I manage that project? Because you're a girl.

Why can't I join that group? Because you're a girl.

And after you've reached any level of attainment in a profession you love, the comments are used to minimize your success.

Why did you get that award? Because you're a girl.

Why were you chosen to participate in that class? Because you're a girl.

Like so many women before me, I have shaken off the comment.

I've gotten angry. I've gotten sad. I've doubted myself and my abilities. I've ignored it entirely. I've challenged it. I've recruited support from men and women I respect. Yet every time it stays there in the back of my mind, screaming for attention after every failure or setback.

But today is the day I've decided to change that.

I did, in fact, get the job because I'm a girl.

A girl who was called "bossy" growing up.

A girl who wasn't afraid to play with the boys.

A girl who didn't hesitate to raise her hand if she knew the answer.

A girl who stood up for other kids.

A girl who was always the first one to volleyball practice and the last to leave.

A girl who was told she was too assertive and aggressive to advance in her career.

A girl who went to MIT anyway.

A girl who asked her company to do more on diversity and inclusion and won't stop pushing until it's truly remarkable.

A girl who has made big mistakes, both personal and professional.

A girl who swings for the fences even when no one is watching.

A girl who puts in hours when other people are asleep

A girl who tells young girls how smart and strong they are.

A girl who hates to lose.

And a girl who won't stand silently while people still use “because you're a girl" as any limitation for girls who want to grow, challenge the status quo, and be something, anything, greater than society tells them they could or should.

So yeah. I guess you could say I got my job because I'm a girl, but not for any of the reasons you might think.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.


This article originally appeared on 04.14.17

Double H Canine Academy in Louisville, Kentucky is a place where dog owners can take their rambunctious pets and have them turned into respectable members of the family.

However, as you can tell in this hilarious video, not all dogs are meant to follow orders.



Ladies and gentleman, meet Ryker.

Double H Canine Training Academy... Epic Service Dog Training Failure

Ryker giving it his all before flunking our of Service Dog Training School

As you can see below, Ryker is living his life to the fullest. While he may never be the world's greatest service dog, he continues to provide an invaluable testament to being true to one's self.

RYKER “The Purpose Driven Dog"🐕........


This article originally appeared on 02.26.20