For five months, no one visited this premature baby. So her nurse committed the ultimate act of love.

Baby Giselle was born at just 29 months and weighed only one pound 14 ounces. She was born to a drug-addicted mother and stayed in the NICU for a few months before being transferred to Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Boston for acute rehab.

After Giselle was transferred, her parents stopped coming to see her. For five months, the only caregivers Giselle knew were the nurses at  Franciscan Children’s Hospital.

via Franciscan Children's / YouTube


It appeared as though Gisele would be moved into foster care after her treatment, but her nurses wanted to give her a shot at going home with a forever family. So they approached 40-year-old senior nursing director Liz Smith with a plan.

“A few of the nurses at Franciscan Children’s Hospital approached me and asked, ‘Have you met Giselle?’ and I said, ‘No. Why?’ and they said, ‘She needs a medical foster home and you two are the perfect pair,’” she told CBS Boston.

Smith had been unable to have a child and her insurance wouldn’t cover in vitro fertilization so she thought there was little chance she'd be a mother.

“Literally, Gisele crossed my path in a stroller and we locked eyes and that was it,” Smith told CBS Boston. So Smith began visiting Gisele every day after work and a connection grew between the two.

Franciscan Children's / YouTube

Smith had been reluctant to consider adoption, but after meeting Gisele her mind quickly changed.

“I remember certain nights, one in particular, when she was hooked up to the feed and I was walking by the mirror and the thought went into my head of losing her,” Smith wrote on the hospital’s website. “It made me sick to my stomach. You can’t just love a certain percentage. You have to give it your all.”

In October 2018, the adoption was finalized and Smith, who is now 45, and Giseele, who’s happy and healthy at 2, are one happy family.

“We talk about the power of love, but to witness how it can transform a life and to witness how it has transformed her life and mine is unbelievable,” Smith told CBS Boston

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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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.

Amazon

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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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.