Here’s what people facing food insecurity want you to know about solving the hunger problem in America
Even though America is the world’s wealthiest nation, about 1 in 6 of our neighbors turned to food banks and community programs in order to feed themselves and their families last year. Think about it: More than 9 million children faced hunger in 2021 (1 in 8 children).
In order to solve a problem, we must first understand it. Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, released its second annual Elevating Voices: Insights Report and turned to the experts—people experiencing hunger—to find out how this issue can be solved once and for all.
Here are the four most important things people facing hunger want you to know.
Hunger is still an urgent crisis despite signs of economic recovery. In the months following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, headlines report that the nation’s economic health is bouncing back after years of hardship. However, a big chunk of our population is experiencing a different reality. Recovery has been uneven nationwide, and grocery prices are still higher than normal despite easing supply chain issues. With the end of the federal support offered throughout the pandemic, child poverty rates have shot up, and families like Donnette McManus’ are feeling the squeeze.
“Even though you have your list, you have your budget, things are changing so quickly. Your salary can’t keep up. So, you get to the store with the same exact list, the same 10 items can cost you 50% more,” said McManus, who lives in Massachusetts.
Feeding America Insights Report
People facing hunger say that ending food insecurity is about more than just food. Ending hunger may sound like a simple task: make sure everyone, regardless of who they are and where they live, has access to the food they need. However, as neighbor-advocate Jennifer Estrada of Wisconsin pointed out, the reality is a bit more complex, especially considering that hunger is only a symptom of bigger economic challenges.
“As much as you work, the system is set up for you to continue in a cycle of food insecurity,” said Estrada. “Your whole check goes to a rent payment if you’re not fortunate enough to own a house, with nothing leftover. But you get kicked off if you make $2 more. There needs to be some security, there needs to be a revamping of the whole system ... It seems like instead of creating less barriers to help the families in our community, it seems like policies and procedures continue to make more barriers.”
One of the biggest takeaways from the 2023Insights Report is that housing is unaffordable. Working 40+ hours a week still isn’t enough to get by for many folks. Stopping hunger in its tracks is as much about strengthening economic well-being as it is about providing equitable access to enough nourishing food.
Hunger is an issue that intersects with more than what we put on our plates. Hunger strikes without discrimination, affecting anyone, anywhere, at any time. Millions of people in the U.S. are just one job loss, missed paycheck, or medical emergency away from experiencing food insecurity. Due to a long history of racism, discrimination, and oppression in our country, hunger impacts some communities more than others, including communities of color and communities in rural areas.
While the impact of hunger is widespread, people facing it note that the stigma associated with it can strip people of their dignity or deter them from accessing the food assistance programs they’re eligible for and need. There are also inequitable systems in place that do not work for everyone.
“Your basic clerk at your local DHS [Department of Human Services] office is only employed to input information and output information back to you. A lot of times, you feel like you’re not even a human. You’re just a number to them. And if I’m just going to be a number to you, I have a mental meltdown,” said Kimberly Harris, a resident of Washington, D.C.
Feeding America Insights Report
Ending food insecurity requires a catalyzing movement. While hunger remains a widespread and persistent problem, our country already has the tools to eradicate it forever—they just need to be utilized. Most people facing hunger said that federal and local governments should treat hunger as an urgent crisis—signaling that it will take all of us to bring hunger to a halt.
So how can you take action right now? Do your part and visit FeedingAmerica.org/ElevatingVoices to read the 2023 Elevating Voices: Insights Report and sign a petition to encourage Congress to pass legislation that will help ensure no one in America goes hungry. Let’s all pitch in to make the wealthiest nation become the happiest and most prosperous—for all.
A quick trip to the vet confirmed the cats' and family's suspicions.
It's not a secret that nearly all golden retrievers are identical. Honestly, magic has to be involved for owners to know which one belongs to them when more than one golden retriever is around. Seriously, how do they all seem have the same face? It's like someone fell asleep on the copy machine when they were being created.
Outside of collars, harnesses and bandanas, immediately identifying the dog that belongs to you has to be a secret skill because at first glance, their personalities are also super similar. That's why it's not surprising when one family dropped off their sweet golden pooch at daycare and to be groomed, they didn't notice the daycare sent out the wrong dog.
See, not even their human parents can tell them apart because when the swapped dog got home, nothing seemed odd to the owners at first. She was freshly groomed so any small differences were quickly brushed off. But this accidental doppelgänger wasn't fooling her feline siblings.
Once the dog was in their house, they noticed that their cats started behaving strangely towards their canine sibling. The cats started attacking the dog, likely trying to get it to tell them what they did with their real dog sister. Cat slaps and a house full of strange people didn't dampen the imposter's spirit though, in fact, that's what helped reveal the switcharoo.
This dog kept handing out face kisses and had no interest in seeing her favorite neighbor. After putting all of those things together, the owners decided to hightail it to the vet's office to scan the dog's microchip. Alas, they indeed had the wrong dog.
"We just never even thought that that would happen, and of course we thought we would know right? Like we're her parents, we would know something was wrong, we would know right off the bat that it wasn't Emmy," Kebby Kelley told Fox 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Seems both golden retrievers got to go on a really strange adventure that deserves a lifetime of delicious dog treats for the confusion.
See both sweet pups below:
Invigorate your journey to optimal health with these wellness-enhancing colostrum supplements.
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Embarking on a journey toward enhanced well-being is a rewarding endeavor, and when it comes to unlocking nature's potential, colostrum supplements stand as remarkable allies. Did you know that the global colostrum market is projected to experience a growth of over 3.5% in the coming years, a testament to the increasing recognition of its incredible benefits? Moreover, scientific interest in colostrum's immune-boosting properties has led to a surge in research publications, with a remarkable 37% rise observed in the last five years alone. As we delve into the realm of wellness-enhancing supplements, this article unveils an illuminating guide to the 15 best colostrum supplements, offering a chance to embrace vitality and invigorate the journey to optimal health.
15 best colostrum supplements
- Elm & Rye Colostrum Supplements
- Swanson Ultra High Immunoglobulin Colostrum Supplement
- California Gold Nutrition, Colostrum
- ARMRA Colostrum Immune Revival Unflavored
- Mt. Capra Goat Milk Colostrum
- PipingRock Ultra Colostrum Quick Release Capsules
- NOW Foods, Colostrum Powder
- Nature’s Sunshine Colostrum Capsules
- Ancestral Supplements Grass Fed Beef Colostrum Supplement
- WONDERCOW Colostrum Powder Supplement
- Symbiotics Colostrum Chewables
- Brain Basics Ultra-Pure Colostrum
- Surthrival: Colostrum Powder Capsules
- Double Wood Supplements Colostrum Supplement Capsules
- Pure Velvet Colostrum Powder
Colostrum supplements have gained popularity in recent years as a natural and effective way to boost immunity and support overall health. Among these supplements, Elm & Rye stands out as a high-quality option for those seeking the benefits of colostrum. Sourced from grass-fed cows, this supplement contains a wealth of bioactive proteins, growth factors, and immunoglobulins that can help stimulate the immune system, aid in muscle recovery, and provide anti-aging benefits. With its convenient powder form, Elm & Rye makes it easy to incorporate colostrum into any diet or wellness routine. Whether you're an athlete looking to optimize performance or simply support your immune system, colostrum supplements like Elm & Rye are a great way to promote optimal health and well-being.
Colostrum supplements have long been popular among those seeking to support their immune systems. Among these supplements, the Swanson Ultra High Immunoglobulin Colostrum Supplement is a promising option for those looking to enhance their overall well-being. Packed with nutrients and natural antibodies to support immune function, this supplement has been shown to have a powerful impact on the body. Whether you are looking for a boost during cold and flu season or simply want to promote robust immune health, the Swanson Ultra High Immunoglobulin Colostrum Supplement may be just what you need.
If you are looking for an all-natural supplement that can provide a range of health benefits, colostrum supplements are a great option to consider. California Gold Nutrition offers high-quality colostrum supplements derived from nutrient-rich milk produced by cows during the early stages of lactation. Colostrum is packed with immune-boosting antibodies, growth factors, and other essential nutrients that can help strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation, and support digestive health. Whether you are recovering from an illness, looking to boost your athletic performance, or simply looking to support your overall health and well-being, California Gold Nutrition's colostrum supplements can be a powerful addition to your daily routine.
Colostrum supplements have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their potential immune-boosting properties. ARMRA Colostrum Immune Revival Unflavored is one such supplement that claims to support immunity and overall health. Derived from bovine colostrum, this supplement contains a variety of beneficial compounds such as immunoglobulins, growth factors, and lactoferrin. These nutrients are believed to strengthen the body's defenses and promote healing. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of colostrum supplements, the potential benefits are encouraging. If you're looking for a natural way to support your immune system, ARMRA Colostrum Immune Revival Unflavored may be worth considering.
Colostrum supplements have gained popularity in recent years due to their impressive health benefits, and Mt. Capra Goat Milk Colostrum is no exception. Derived from the nutrient-rich milk of grass-fed goats, this colostrum supplement is packed with immune-boosting antibodies, growth factors, and essential nutrients. Mt. Capra's strict standards ensure that their goats are free from hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs, making their colostrum a pure and natural supplement choice. Whether you're looking to support your immune system, improve gut health, or enhance athletic performance, Mt. Capra Goat Milk Colostrum is a superior choice for all your health needs.
If you're looking to give your immune system a boost, colostrum supplements may be just what you need. PipingRock Ultra Colostrum Quick Release Capsules are a great option for those looking to optimize their overall health. Colostrum is the pre-milk liquid produced by mammary glands in mammals during the first few days after giving birth. It's packed with immune-boosting components like antibodies, growth factors, and antimicrobial peptides. With PipingRock's quick-release capsules, you can easily add this powerhouse supplement to your daily routine. Whether you're an athlete looking to recover faster or just looking to support your immune system, PipingRock's Ultra Colostrum is worth considering.
Colostrum supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years, and NOW Foods is one brand that stands out from the rest. With its high-quality colostrum powder, NOW Foods offers a natural and effective way to support immune health and promote overall wellness. Colostrum, the first milk produced by a mother after giving birth, is full of immune-boosting nutrients and antibodies that can help strengthen the body's defenses against infection and disease. NOW Foods' colostrum powder is carefully sourced from healthy cows and processed using state-of-the-art technology to ensure maximum potency and purity. Whether you're an athlete looking to enhance performance or simply seeking a natural way to keep your immune system strong, NOW Foods' colostrum supplements are an excellent choice.
Nature's Sunshine Colostrum Capsules are an excellent option for those looking for high-quality colostrum supplements. Colostrum, a type of milk produced by mammals shortly after birth, contains a variety of essential nutrients and growth factors that can help support a healthy immune system. Nature's Sunshine's colostrum supplements are made from the highest quality ingredients, ensuring you get the most benefit from each capsule. Taking colostrum supplements can help promote the growth and repair of body tissues, improve gut health, and boost overall immunity. So, if you're looking for a natural and effective way to support your health, consider giving Nature's Sunshine Colostrum Capsules a try.
Are you looking for a way to boost your immune system and improve your overall health? Ancestral Supplements Grass Fed Beef Colostrum Supplement might be your answer! Colostrum supplements have been used for centuries for their numerous health benefits, including increasing antibodies, promoting gut health, and enhancing athletic performance. Ancestral Supplements provides a high-quality product sourced only from grass-fed cows, ensuring that you are getting the most nutrient-dense and bioavailable colostrum possible. Give your body the support it needs with this powerful natural supplement.
Cow colostrum supplements are a popular way to improve gut health, boost the immune system, and improve athletic performance. If you're looking for a high-quality colostrum supplement, look no further than WONDERCOW Colostrum Powder Supplement. This top-of-the-line product is derived from New Zealand cows and is packed with immune-boosting properties that will help improve your overall health and well-being. Whether you're an athlete looking to improve your performance or just someone looking to improve your health, WONDERCOW Colostrum Powder Supplement is an excellent choice. So why wait? Start incorporating this amazing supplement into your diet today and start reaping the many benefits of colostrum supplements.
Colostrum supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years, with people turning to them for a range of health benefits. Among these supplements is Symbiotics Colostrum Chewables, which provides a convenient and delicious way to incorporate colostrum into your daily routine. Colostrum, which is the first milk produced by mammals after giving birth, is rich in immune-boosting compounds that can help support a healthy gut and immune system. By taking Symbiotics Colostrum Chewables regularly, you can give your body the nutrients it needs to stay in top condition. Plus, with their pleasant taste and easy-to-swallow format, these chewables are a great option for people of all ages. Whether you're looking to promote overall health or need a boost during cold and flu season, Symbiotics Colostrum Chewables are worth considering.
The brain is undoubtedly one of the most complex and vital organs in the human body. That's why it is crucial to take care of it properly. And what better way to do so than with Brain Basics Ultra-Pure Colostrum? This supplement has become increasingly popular among health enthusiasts for its high levels of antibodies and growth factors, which promote healthy brain function and development. Colostrum supplements have been scientifically proven to improve memory and concentration, combat stress and anxiety, and maintain cognitive function as we age. Brain Basics Ultra-Pure Colostrum is the perfect ally for anyone looking to keep their brain sharp and healthy.
Colostrum supplements have become increasingly popular among individuals in search of ways to support their immune systems and overall health. Surthrival has introduced its Colostrum Powder Capsules as an easy way to incorporate this potent supplement into one's daily routine. Colostrum, the first milk produced by mammals after giving birth, contains a diverse array of immune-boosting compounds, growth factors, and nutrients that can benefit the body in numerous ways. Surthrival's Colostrum Powder Capsules are sourced from grass-fed cows and lab-tested to ensure potency and purity. Whether you're an athlete looking to support muscle recovery or someone looking to strengthen their immune system, Surthrival's Colostrum Powder Capsules offer a convenient and effective way to reap the benefits of this powerful supplement.
Colostrum supplements have been gaining popularity for their various health benefits and Double Wood Supplements offers a high-quality option with their Colostrum Supplement Capsules. Colostrum, also known as "first milk," is produced by mammals after giving birth and is rich in immune-boosting properties. It contains antibodies, growth factors, proteins, and essential nutrients that can support gut health, immune system function, and muscle growth. Double Wood Supplements sources its colostrum from grass-fed cows and processes it into convenient capsules for easy consumption. Regular intake of these supplements may help improve digestive health, increase athletic performance, and protect against infections. With Double Wood Supplements, you can enjoy the benefits of colostrum in a convenient, easy-to-take form.
Pure Velvet Colostrum Powder is a supplement that offers countless benefits for those looking to improve their overall health and wellness. Derived from the milk of cows, colostrum supplements are packed with essential nutrients, growth factors, and immune-boosting compounds. What sets Pure Velvet's colostrum powder apart from other brands is its exceptional purity and potency. Every serving is 100% pure, with no fillers, additives, or unnecessary ingredients. This means that you are getting the maximum benefits from every scoop. With continued use, Pure Velvet Colostrum Powder can support a healthy immune system, aid in muscle recovery, and promote overall wellness.
In the tapestry of holistic well-being, the transformative potential of colostrum supplements shines ever brighter, illuminating a path toward vitality and resilience. As evidenced by an impressive 92% customer satisfaction rate reported by users incorporating colostrum supplements into their routines, it's clear that the journey toward optimal health is enriched by these natural wonders. Additionally, the 80% reduction in sick days among individuals regularly consuming colostrum stands as a testament to its immune-strengthening prowess. With a world of wellness at our fingertips, empowered by insights into the 15 best colostrum supplements, let us step forward into lives imbued with vitality, fostering a future where radiant health becomes an everyday celebration.
What exactly are "girl" chores, anyway?
A 41-year-old mom with 3 boys, 12-year-old twins, and a 10-year-old, pays them $10 daily to do their chores. However, their pay is deducted $10 if they miss a day. The boys have to do their tasks 5 days a week, although it doesn’t matter which days they choose to work.
“This system has worked swimmingly for us since it started, the boys have always complied with completing their chores,” the mom wrote on Reddit.
Her 12-year-old son was getting ready to play Fortnite with a friend and told him he’d be ready in 15 minutes once he finished his chores. When the boys started playing the game, he told the friend he was in charge of dusting and sweeping the stairs, to which the friend responded, “It’s a good thing my parents don’t make me do girl chores.”
After learning what the friend said, the mom told her son that chores are genderless.
“I spoke with my son and explained to him that knowing how to clean was not specific to any gender, that it was a life skill everyone needed to know. I also told him that I understood that other families functioned differently; however, in our family, everyone did an equal share,” she wrote.
Over the next 3 days, the boy refused to do his “girl” chores. So, when allowance day came, the two brothers who did theirs received $50, but the 12-year-old who refused only got $20. The mom and the boy's father are divorced, so the 12-year-old called his dad to complain that he got $30 less, and the dad took his side.
“My ex-husband then proceeded to call me and tell me that I’m in the wrong for only giving him $20 and to imagine how it makes him feel that his brothers got more than he did. I explained to him that our other sons actually did their chores for all 5 days, so they were rewarded accordingly,” the mother wrote. “And assured him that if he had decided to start giving the boys an allowance, then he can run allowance however he wanted, but this was ultimately the system I had come up with.”
She added that her husband said she is being “insensitive” and “humiliating” their son.
The mom asked Reddit’s AITA subforum if she was in the wrong, and the commenters unanimously agreed that she was right. Other commenters noted that she made a smart decision leaving her ex-husband because he took the side of his child, who refused to do work for sexist reasons.
The only problem the commenters had was that the mom was being a little too generous by giving them $50 a week. That’s $600 a month for 3 kids.
"It’s the real world, you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid, and I actually think $10 a day is pretty generous for allowance," Longjumping-Gur-6581 wrote. "$10/day is insane for that age,” fIumpf added.
“You’re not taking money out of your son’s allowance, you’re not paying him for services not rendered,” Excitedorca wrote. “The sexist, misogynistic reasons behind not completing the chores need to be corrected and that won’t happen by rewarding it.”
The Harvard report has 3 major takeaways.
"It may be the most important thing we do in life; learn how to love and be loved."
At least, that's according to Harvard psychologist and researcher Rick Weissbourd.
He's been collecting data on the sex and love habits of young people for years through surveys, interviews, and even informal conversation — with teens and the important people in their lives.
Through it all, one thing has been abundantly clear:
"We spend enormous amount of attention helping parents prepare their kids for work and school," Weissbourd says. "We do almost nothing to prepare them for the tender, tough, subtle, generous, focused work of developing mature healthy relationships. I'm troubled by that."
Now he and his team have finally compiled five years of intense research that asks the question, "What do young people really think about sex and love?"
And maybe just as important: "How should we be preparing them?"
Here are three major takeaways from the groundbreaking new report:
1. Hookup culture might just be a big ol' myth.
Everybody's hooking up with everybody these days, right? Not so fast.
The Harvard report presents a startling statistic from a related study in 2008. A group of college students in the U.S. were asked what percentage of guys on campus they thought had sex on any given weekend. They guessed about 80%. The reality? As low as 5%.
Weissbourd notes that because hookups are so culturally visible (especially in college) and gossiped about, it creates a perception that they're a lot more common than they actually are.
The Harvard study itself found, in fact, that most young people are a lot more interested in sex within a committed relationship or, shockingly(!), things that don't involve sex at all.
What it means for parents: We as adults, unfortunately, play a big role in this pervasive and harmful myth. "In every era there've been complaints about how sexually out of control kids are," Weissbourd says. "It's a story adults really love to tell."
When we play up this stereotype, the study finds it can actually make young people less likely to seek advice or to talk about sex and relationships because they may feel inadequate or embarrassed about their lack of experience.
2. Sexual harassment and assault, however, remain huge, unaddressed problems.
"There are a significant number of young men out there who think that all they can't do is rape someone," Weissbourd says. "They can't drag someone in an alley to rape them."
What many of them have very little concept of, he says, is how harmful and dangerous behaviors like catcalling, pressuring, and coercion can be.
The study cites endless instances of girls being harassed at school, complaining to administration, staging walkouts; anything to get the problem addressed. But the "boys will be boys" attitude persists, and problems are often swept under the rug rather than tackled head-on.
A culture of sexual violence is harmful for obvious reasons, but the report also found these kinds of attitudes can bleed over into relationships that can "disproportionately involve females servicing males."
What it means for parents: Talk. to. your. kids. about. consent.
"I was really surprised how many parents had not had basic conversations with their kids about things like consent, or how to avoid sexually harassing a person," Weissbourd says.
We have to make it crystal clear to young people what kinds of behavior are and aren't acceptable, and follow up those lines with real consequences. It's the only way things are ever going to change.
3. Teens and young adults want more guidance than we're giving them.
Most parents aren't thrilled about having "the talk," and admittedly, bringing up the topic of sex with a teen is no easy task.
But with all this dread and hand-wringing over how to talk about the birds and the bees, the Harvard report notes that many parents are overlooking a much bigger topic: love and relationships.
Roughly 70% of surveyed young adults reported wishing they had received more or better guidance on the emotional aspects of relationships, both from parents or from health class. But it's not just a hindsight thing.
Many parents are overlooking a much bigger topic: love and relationships.
"The percentage of young people who want guidance on romantic relationships was encouraging," Weissbourd says. "Kids light up when they are talking about love and what love is and what does it mean. That was surprising and really encouraging."
What it means for parents: When you're done teaching your teenager how to put a condom on a banana, make sure to spend some time talking about the day-to-day work that goes into building a healthy relationship.
That means going beyond platitudes. The Harvard team suggests diving into more complex questions like, What's the difference between attraction, infatuation, and love? How can we be more attracted to people the less interested they are in us? Why can we be attracted to people who are unhealthy for us?
Those are questions some of us might not even have the answer to, but having the honest conversation with our kids is a major step in helping them learn how to love and be loved.
As Weissbourd says, it's one of the most important things we'll ever do.
The full report tackles even more and is jam-packed with must-know findings and statistics. It's definitely worth a read.
This article originally appeared on 05.18.17
Mom gives master class rant about how impossible it is to have kids in sports while working full time
"It just doesn't even make sense."
Being a mom can be challenging enough, but when you add in working full time and kids activities, it feels like you need a few clones to help you out. Recently we signed our youngest up for soccer, he's 5-years-old and happens to be ten years younger than his closest sibling, so I've done the sports stuff.
At one point I was working full-time while my daughter took tap, ballet and jazz while also on a soccer team and my two older boys played soccer, baseball and football. We rarely saw the inside of our home unless it was to sleep, I'm not even sure I knew how my stove worked during those years. Now here we are starting all over again.
So when Mo, a mom running the TikTok page Rex & Mo posted a video ranting about how impossible it feels to add organized activities for kids into the mix, parents everywhere related, myself included.
In the video, Mo explains that her oldest child recently started playing football and she's finding the additional responsibility to be a bit much.
"Being a working mom with children that have extracurricular activities is unrealistic and just...it is so hard," Mo says. "It just doesn't even make sense. It just feels unsustainable, like how long am I going to be able to do this?"
She goes on to reveal her routine which includes going to work, picking up her younger kids from daycare, taking her son to football practice, then somehow finding time to feed and bathe the children. The mom didn't mention homework but it's safe to assume that is squished in there somewhere. It's still early in the season so she may not be fully initiated to know that on game days parents rotate team snacks, including drinks. Other sports moms were quick to commiserate in the comments.
"I'm over her fighting for my life sis," one woman writes.
"The joy I feel when they cancel a practice," another mom shares.
"All I do is drive around ALL NIGHT LONG and eat dinner at 10 pm... hang in there mama," someone says.
The amount of constant calculation it takes to get everyone where they need to be on time while also making sure things don't fall behind is a sport in itself.
Watch the relatable rant below:
S/O to my husband cause he work too & coaches but when i get home these HIS KIDS 😂😂😂 #rexandmo #fyp
We all need somewhere safe to go.
Editor's Note: This story discusses suicide. If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
This secondary offering has lately been overshadowed by political controversy, as there has been a laser focus from conservatives on the types of literature libraries provide, especially titles that pertain to LGBTQ and racial topics.
But one librarian’s retelling of a life saving encounter reminds us of how essential these community spaces really are—and it has nothing to do with books at all.
Mychel Threets, who works at the Solano County Library in Northern California, has an entire Instagram and TikTok account dedicated to library life.
While his videos are quite often book reviews and tips, he also has plenty of his own inspiring stories involving patron interactions that show how libraries can be catalysts for human kindness.
Like this one:
@mychal3ts The library is where you belong, where you’ll ALWAYS belong 💚✨ #booktok #librarytiktok #storytime ♬ original sound - mychal
Recently Threets had been going about his regular chores, when he saw a patron who appeared to be homeless. Threets had greeted this person like he would anyone else, but, as many unhoused individuals are met with hostility, this person assumed Threets was trying to shoo him away.
"They start grabbing their bag, saying, I'm leaving, I'm leaving, I'll go, okay," Threets said. After Threets assured the person that "I want you to be here in the library," and asked if they were okay, the patron replied "my brain hurts.”
Threets considered this statement as "an incredibly interesting way to say that you're struggling with your mental health."
As Threets continued to listen, the persons went on to say that a few days prior they had wanted to “unalive themselves” and “didn’t think anybody cared.” But because Threets and the rest of the Solano Library staff were kind to them, their feelings had changed.
Threets noted with enthusiasm that this exchange perfectly captured "the power of the library, of connection, of interrupting someone's day with a simple greeting, with saying hi."
Threets has even learned that this person had come to the library every week as a kid, and clearly still found the space to be a safe haven.
"That is a grown-up library kid who needs help, who needs someone to tell them that they belong,” he said. “I’m so proud that my library people made them feel welcome.”
Third spaces—that is, places to gather that aren’t work or home, like cafes, gyms, parks, malls, etc.—are already dwindling in America. The ones that do remain aren’t always free, and certainly are not always welcoming to everyone.
Libraries, however, are a third space that meet this criteria, and it’s partially why Americans continue to value the role public libraries play in their community. In a time when underfunding and culture wars threaten these vital spaces, it’s important to remember the true service they provide.
As Threets eloquently put it. "That's all that we're trying to do in this world together is exist.... Come to the library where you belong."