An 11-year-old girl is taking sewing lessons to make 1,200 masks for homeless people

In the midst of a global pandemic, plenty of the rich and powerful are coming out of the woodwork to use their resources to help those in need. Perhaps the most inspiring story, though, is that of Holli Morgan, an 11-year-old from DeKalb County, Atlanta. When Holli was worried about homeless people staying safe from the virus, she decided to make masks for them. She's already made hundreds of masks, and she plans to make hundreds more.

At first, Holli made masks for healthcare workers. That is, until she saw a report on Channel 2 News about mandatory mask laws, and she asked her mother how these rules would apply to homeless people. She became inspired to help, and, eventually, Holli's efforts became so large that she and her mother were interviewed on Channel 2 News itself. "She's a little girl who wanted to be part of something big," said Holli's mother in the interview. "None of us really knew how big it would go."



The pastor of Holli's church, Dr. Kerwin Lee, has called Holli a "blessing to others," and has taken it upon himself to distribute Holli's masks to those who need them — and he should be pretty helpful, as he has congregations in three local counties. "Throughout our 25-year history, we've seen God use many young people to make a difference," he said. "Holli is making a difference during a season of pandemic."

In a WSB-TV article on July 10, 2020, Holli is quoted as saying, "I have 574 masks in total. My goal is 1,200 masks." Then, in an ABC7-NY article on July 12, 2020, Holli is listed as having sewn 580 masks. This puts Holli solidly at six new masks in two days, or a rate of plus three masks per day. At this pace, Holli will reach her goal of 1,200 masks by Saturday, March 5, 2022, assuming she takes Sundays off. Keep going, Holli!

Holli's mother said "ever since [Holli] was born, she's always had this big heart." Likewise, Dr. Lee emphasized, "It's her own initiative. It wasn't something that someone planted in her. She saw there was a need, and knew she was gifted to do this." It's amazing to hear adults singing Holli's praises and give her credit for her hard work — however, Holli remains brave and humble, simply saying of the matter, "It makes me feel like I did something to help the Earth."

It's hard work to be there for yourself and your loved ones during a pandemic, and to do so for strangers is an even harder, nobler endeavor. Plenty of children are spending their newfound free time playing video games or watching TikToks — and there's nothing wrong with that, but sewing classes are cheap, and people are dying.

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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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