What If Mitt Romney And Barack Obama Were Pen Pals In The Fifth Grade?

Looking to bridge the red
state-blue state divide? Let’s help our future senators and congressional
representatives with an old school dose of communication and promote this
effort to schools. Do it for, you know, the kids.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/what-if-mitt-romney-and-barack-obama-were-penpals-in-the-fifth-grade

This Tumblr user perfectly explained why a Minneapolis food bank’s new strategy is so important.

As we all know, food banks are one of the main ways communities fight hunger. But recently, Minnesota food bank Matter started doing something special.

The food bank is teaming up with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (encompassing Minneapolis) to help distribute food.

Officers will keep boxes with nutritious food in their cars, and if they come across someone in need over the course of their patrol, they’ll be able to provide them with things like raisins, oatmeal, granola bars, and canned vegetables.

There are a lot of people in Minnesota who will benefit from this:

Based on data put out by Feeding America, with a population of more than 5.4 million in Minnesota, there are hundreds of thousands of hungry residents.

As an added bonus, the program will give the police a chance to develop a relationship with members of the community.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we will come across a number of those who are less fortunate, maybe even homeless. This will allow the deputies to build a little rapport, reach out to them, [offer] a healthy alternative to what they might be doing.”

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio


Some folks have pointed out that small-scale assistance won’t put an end to the bigger problems that cause hunger and poverty.

Recently one of my co-workers shared a story of a restaurant owner who put a sign on her door offering a meal to the person she knew was digging through the trash at night looking for leftover food. While the story garnered many positive comments, we were surprised to see how many people (both on our post and on similar stories elsewhere on the Internet) commented saying that these case-by-case examples, whether it’s cops handing out granola bars or restaurant owners offering a free meal, aren’t doing enough to solve those long-term problems.

It’s no secret that, for many homeless people, finding food is a daily struggle.

What’s maybe not so obvious is that for many folks, even if they do manage to find food reliably, it can be as big a curse as it is a blessing.

One Tumblr user, who agreed to let me share his story here, responded to those criticisms and offered up some insight on what it’s like being homeless and hungry:

It reads (emphasis added):

“When I was homeless, I was so constipated all the time [a] combo of limited access to restrooms and living on one meal a day from the back door of the pizza place… but you can only live on stale pepperoni deep dish for so long before your guts start to rebel. And that was when i was what, 19? 20? It’s gotta be so much worse for older people, and not everyone’s got such a nice restaurant to mooch off of. Eating actual trash will f*ck your stomach up like whoa. You never know how painful gas can be until you eat something that was a little farther past the sell-by date than you thought it was, it turns your stomach into a chemical refinery, and the nearest open public restroom is a mile away.”

“Handing out raisins and oatmeal looks, at first glance, like one of those officious ‘spend your food stamps on lettuce’ clusterf*cks that middle-class people are always perpetrating because they’ve never been in the shoes of the people they’re trying to ‘improve’. But actually, it’s a great idea,
and this is gonna make a lot of people a little healthier in immediate, tangible ways. We’re not talking some vague probability-of-heart-disease-in-20-years stuff. We’re talking standing a little straighter and breathing a little easier the very next day.

jumpingjacktrash.tumblr.com

When it comes to solving problems as big as poverty and hunger, we can’t just focus on the big picture and we can’t just focus on the small-scale stuff. It’s only through a combination of both approaches that we’ll ever find a way to make things better.

In the meantime, I think the partnership between Matter and the Minneapolis-area sheriff is a fantastic and unique approach that has a lot of benefits for individuals AND for the community, and I hope we see more cities using this as an example soon.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/this-tumblr-user-perfectly-explained-why-a-minneapolis-food-banks-new-strategy-is-so-important?c=tpstream

Man Is Crying by Her Gas Pump – When She Sees His Wife Covering Her Face in the Car, She Knows

It happened at a gas station and the story is spreading across the internet.

It is a revealing look into the power of God and how He can spread love that ends up becoming completely contagious! Nicole Marie Heintz writes about this incredible encounter that snowballed into a miracle for one family in need. Love What Matters has been sharing this wonderful story and it is definitely worth a read to be reminded at how chance encounters can end up creating contagious acts of kindness that really do make a huge difference.

Heres the post that Nicole wrote:

So I was just on my way to work and I had to stop for gas so I allowed myself some extra time to get to work. When I pulled up to the pump I shut my car off and saw this middle aged man crying looking at the gas pump. I began to wonder what happened with this man and as I got out of my car and looked at him my heart felt like it stopped.

In Apple Valley, Minnesota it is 10 degrees and freezing cold with the wind. This man was wearing flip flops with socks covered in holes. I look at his car and see his wife in the front seat covering her face in her hands and the 2 teenage girls both cuddling under a blanket in the back seat.

I didnt even think and I went up to the man and said sir is something the matter? He looked at me and I could tell he was on the verge of giving up because he didnt even try to conceal his tears when he said I cant even provide for my family.

Without even thinking I put my card in his machine and told him Jesus Christ the Son of God died to provide for you. Fill up. Something, something came alive in him. He was in shock and it was like he forgot how to pump gas.

In that same moment his wife got out of her car, she asked her husband what was going on and he told her I just payed for their gas she started to cry and came around the corner to shake my hand when I saw her pants dirty and torn. I asked her to come to my car.

The airport lost some of my luggage on my way to Minnesota from California and I had to clean out my closet to find stuff to wear and get rid of a lot of stuff all of that stuff that I had yet to give away was siting in the back seat of the car and in the trunk. I opened up my car and told the lady to take what she wanted.

This lady RAN back to her car. I was so afraid I had just embraced her but a moment later her and her two girls were digging through those clothes layering my sweatshirts and shirts and sweat pants over the worn out clothes they had been wearing.

Soon the father had finished pumping the gas and came over. This attracted a little crowd at the gas station. And some older man gave the family a gift card and another middle aged man gave away his jacket to the father. Never in my life did I think I would see this kind of thing happen at a gas station with a handful of complete strangers.

But it gives me hope. That the love of God can be so contagious. That we are not alone in being the change we want to see in the world. That Gods love is greater than anything and we get to be a part of that love changing lives. And HE always provides!

Read more: http://damn.com/man-is-crying-by-her-gas-pump-when-she-sees-his-wife-covering-her-face-in-the-car-she-knows/

Melissa Harris-Perry has a great point about Oprah’s new weight loss ad.

Last week, Melissa Harris-Perry was “a bit distressed” by a new commercial featuring Oprah Winfrey.

The MSNBC host responded to a recent TV ad Winfrey did for Weight Watchers after Winfrey bought a 10% stake in the weight-loss company last year.

While Harris-Perry was quick to note she certainly wishes Winfrey a successful 2016 even if that means achieving the goal of shedding a few pounds Harris-Perry took issue with one particular message within the ad, specifically, the part where Winfrey says that “inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be.”

Im thinking to myself but O, you are already precisely the woman so many are striving to be,” Harris-Perry said during the open segment of her show.

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

Harris-Perry said she certainly understands why many woman, especially those in the spotlight, struggle with body issues because she’s been there, too.

“I know that your struggle with weight has been long and often personally painful,” Harris-Perry said in her open letter to Winfrey. “And having spent my 30s gaining and losing a few dress sizes more than few times, I get it.”

But still

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

As Harris-Perry pointed out, none of Winfrey’s many achievements have anything to do with her weight.

The whole segment is definitely worth watching below, but here’s an especially powerful snippet (emphasis added):

“From surviving childhood poverty and sexual abuse, you have become one of the most influential humans on the planet. You have Emmys and awards and honors almost too numerous to count. You not only are the first and only black American woman to make the Forbes’ billionaire list, you consistently rank among the most generous philanthropists in the world. Sister, you made the wealth, and you share it like no other black woman ever has. With a nod, you can generate a best-seller, launch a career, even help elect a president…

Who you are, what you have accomplished, how you have influenced and altered the world is all so much more important than your dress size. There is not one thing that you have done that would have been more extraordinary if youd done it with a 25-inch waist.”

Harris-Perry is on to something. Because not only should someone’s size be irrelevant to their self-worth, it’s not even necessarily relevant to their physical health.

Don’t take my word for it, though listen to Linda Bacon, Ph.D. She’s a researcher and author of the new book, “Body Respect,” and well-versed in weight-regulation science.

Bacon told Upworthy that, despite a lot of commonly held notions, you can’t tell much about an individual’s health simply by looking at their waistline.

“Even the heavily entrenched idea that heavier people eat more than thinner people isnt supported by data,” Bacon explained.

The host’s daughter shares the same birthday as Winfrey, and that means the new Weight Watchers ad hit especially close to home.

“I regularly remind [my daughter] that sharing a birthday with you means shes especially obligated to strive toward greatness,” she said. “And I worry as a mom, and as a woman, about the messages our daughters receive if they think a woman as phenomenal as you is still not enough unless she is thin.

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

Bottom line? Your success and worth have nothing to do with a number on a scale. And that includes you, Oprah.

Check out the whole segment below.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/melissa-harris-perry-has-a-great-point-about-oprahs-new-weight-loss-ad?c=tpstream

I Bet This Man Has Embarrassed A Few Police Officers Who Have Tried To Arrest Him

Alright, punk, keep your hands where I can see ’em. Just what the hell do you think you’re doing to that wall? Meet an artist who has been doing something so unique, Clorox decided to sponsor him.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/i-bet-this-man-has-embarrassed-a-few-police-officers-who-have-tried-to-arrest-hi

On the Road: Hope for the holidays

What a story! This heroin addict wanted to turn things around for himself.

Skeptical, Thomas decided to go ahead and pray to God as his girlfriend suggested. Then the following day he runs into a Secret Santa. He didnt believe in prayer or in God, but after this encounter, he was a true believer. Check this amazing story out!

Read more: http://damn.com/hope-for-the-holidays/

This Guy Is Going To Show You One Of The Most Important Things You Can Teach Your Kids

His mom and dad didn’t focus on his disability. They saw their child who was full of potential. They helped him reach it by parenting him in the best way possible — the way we should all parent. I adore what his mom says about making it work at 3:36.

He took that support and encouragement and used it to face life with strength and positivity. And while his parents set the foundation, he created an awe-inspiring life where the sky’s the limit. Listen carefully to what he says at 6:31. This is what fulfilling your potential looks like to me.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/this-guy-is-going-to-show-you-one-of-the-most-important-things-you-can-teach-your-kids-10