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You've heard this song. Have you ever really tried to imagine it?

It's been over 40 years since John Lennon released 'Imagine.' It upset people. It made them think.

You've heard this song. Have you ever really tried to imagine it?

"Imagine" is a global anthem.

Jimmy Carter reported, "[I]n many countries around the world — my wife and I have visited about 125 countries — you hear John Lennon's song 'Imagine' used almost equally with national anthems."

And now, it's a global project.

"The Convention on the Rights of the Child asked us all to imagine a better world for children — and calls on all of us to make that vision a reality," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "The #IMAGINE project gives people across the globe a chance to join a global movement for children, lending their ideas, their visions and, not least, their voices to advance the rights of every child, everywhere."


UNICEF wants you (yes, you) to record your own cover of "Imagine."

They're trying to create the world's largest sing-along and remind people that the world John Lennon imagined is not impossible.

Here are two of my favorites covers that people have done already.

Some adorable kids in Ukraine:

An astronaut in space:

Check out their official site for more!

Photo courtesy of Yoplait
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When Benny Mendez asked his middle school P.E. students why they wanted to participate in STOKED—his new after school program where kids can learn to skateboard, snowboard, and surf—their answers surprised him.

I want to be able to finally see the beach, students wrote. I want to finally be able to see the snow.

Never having seen snow is understandable for Mendez's students, most who live in Inglewood, CA, just outside of Los Angeles. But never having been to the beach is surprising, since most of them only live 15-20 minutes from the ocean. Mendez discovered many of them don't even know how to swim.

"A lot of the kids shared that they just want to go on adventures," says Mendez. "They love nature, but...they just see it in pictures. They want to be out there."

Mendez is in his third year of teaching physical education at View Park K-8 school, one of seven Inner City Foundation Education schools in the Los Angeles area. While many of his students are athletically gifted, Mendez says, they often face challenges outside of school that limit their opportunities. Some of them live in neighborhoods where it's unsafe to leave their houses at certain times of day due to gang activity, and many students come to his P.E. class with no understanding of why learning about physical health is important.

"There's a lot going on at home [with my students]," says Mendez. "They're coming from either a single parent home, or foster care. There's a lot of trauma behind what's going on at home...that is out of our control."

Photo courtesy of Yoplait

What Mendez can control is what he gives his students when they're in his care, which is understanding, some structure, and the chance to try new things. Mendez wakes up at 4:00 a.m. most days and often doesn't get home until 9:00 p.m. as he works tirelessly to help kids thrive. Not only does he run after school programs, but he coaches youth soccer on the weekends as well. He also works closely with other teachers and guidance counselors at the school to build strong relationships with students, and even serves as a mentor to his former students who are now in high school.

Now Mendez is earning accolades far and wide for his efforts both in and out of the classroom, including a surprise award from Yoplait and Box Tops for Education.

Yoplait and Box Tops are partnering this school year to help students reach their fullest potential, which includes celebrating teachers and programs that support that mission. Yoplait is committed to providing experiences for kids and families to connect through play, so teaming up with Box Tops provided an opportunity to support programs like STOKED.

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Courtesy of Stefanny Avera

Janae was delighted to be given dozens of snow globes to replace her beloved collection.

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When Janae was a young child, her grandparents gifted her a snow globe. She was mesmerized by it, which caught her family's attention as it was one of the first "toys" she had ever really played with.

Janae has a rare genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome, which causes a host of developmental and physiological challenges, including learning delays and issues with various organs. At 15 years old, Janae has already been through two open-heart surgeries and countless other medical procedures.

Many kids with Williams Syndrome don't play with toys, preferring to engage with people rather than things. In fact, extreme friendliness and abundant love for everyone they meet are unique features of people with Williams, which is part of why Janae's aunt, Stefanny Avera, describes her as having "a heart of gold."

"It is by far her 'special ability,' although medically it is classified as a disability," says Avera.

When Janae showed a keen interest in snow globes, her family started collecting them in their travels to give to her. She kept the collection on a special shelf in her bedroom.

But one night in January, Janae awoke to a terrible crashing sound. Her snow globe shelf had fallen off the wall, shattering her collection and devastating Janae.

"I was on the phone at the time with her mom and I heard her just bawling," says Avera. "She was so worried that everyone would be upset that they broke and that she'd never get new ones."

Avera wanted to do something to help, so she turned to the local community. She posted a photo of Janae on the Nextdoor app to reach her Thornton, Colorado neighbors and explained what had happened. She thought maybe she could buy some used snow globes from people in the community to help Janae rebuild her collection.

"I expected to get maybe a dozen for her to start," says Avera. "It blew up."

The snow globes started pouring in—and so did people's stories.

One woman donated a Disney snow globe that was given to her years ago during her first job at Disney World.

A traveling nurse who collected snow globes all over the U.S. gifted Janae her entire collection.

Another woman donated three globes that had belonged to her sister who died of cancer 12 years ago. She said this felt like "the perfect opportunity to move forward and let her love for them move on."

A couple who had received two snow globes when they lost a child gave one of them to Janae.

"People dropped them off crying happy tears, watching Janae cry happy tears," says Avera.

Janae's reaction to receiving the influx of snow globes could not be more precious.

People were happy to help and eager to share what their snow globes meant to them.

"We were told many times it was therapeutic to be a part of it all," says Avera. "There were people who told us entire stories about lost loved ones who also collected, people whose children collected them too and heard her story and gifted her some from their collection, people who had loved ones with special needs and love being a part of gifting Janae one."

Nearly ten months later, Janae still gets snow globes dropped off once in a while. "We even get them in the mail from people who heard about it on Nextdoor through friends and they mailed them," says Avera.

Janae has gotten 86 snow globes so far as a result of Avera's Nextdoor post, including globes that have been sent from six different states. When she gets duplicates, Jane gifts them to other kids, keeping the generosity flowing.

When asked how she feels about her snow globes, Janae said, "I'm just happy and blessed to have been given them."

It's incredible how people will step up to help out when asked. Janae's shelf falling may have felt tragic at the time, but her aunt reaching out to her neighbors resulted in a wave of support and heartfelt human connection, which is what being part of a community is all about.

"To see not only our community but people across the country share and reach out, to see so many people cry and share in this moment of happiness has been an amazing and humbling experience," says Avera.

In honor of Neighbor Month, Nextdoor is celebrating the people and places nearby that make our neighborhoods wonderful. Share a story about why you #LoveYourNeighborhood on your @Nextdoor newsfeed for a chance to be featured for Neighbor Month.

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!