One woman’s quest to unite the diverse Hispanic community is also helping battling COVID-19
Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
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When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

Because the Hispanic community is so diverse, unification is, and was, an enormous challenge.

Photo credit: Hispanic Star


The Hispanic Star campaign is rooted in a firm belief that "we don't win until we all win," and is viewed as both a unifying symbol and a nonpartisan, inclusive, inspirational, and unifying footing in order for Hispanics living in the United States to view themselves and help them act as a unified force for good. Hispanics widely represent stories of migration, struggle, resilience and strong values: hard work, optimism, family and friends, and belonging.

"We wanted to bring these efforts together under the Hispanic Star, for everyone to realize that together, we're stronger. We wanted every Hispanic to feel heard and valued and we want our platform to become a source of pride.

"We just need to showcase our contributions to this country, so Hispanics feel proud of our culture and history, and for everyone else to know we're not takers, but makers," Edelman said.

However, before the community can move forward, they have to stop the spread of COVID-19. This staggering need is why P&G, a founding partner of Hispanic Star, pledged to donate personal protective equipment and critical products to Hispanic essential workers and families affected by the virus. If one household member can stop the spread by not bringing the virus home to their family, countless lives could be saved.

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

According to the CDC, Hispanics not only were being exposed because of the nature of their work and/or the number of people living in their households, but also because of language barriers and limited access to health care. The lack of reliable health information in Spanish has impeded efforts to combat the spread of the virus in Hispanic communities, making them more likely to be unaware of the importance of things like mask wearing. Additionally, "Hispanic people are also the largest population segment without health insurance coverage in the United States, leaving those with presumptive symptoms or with a positive COVID-19 test with limited access to needed health care," according to this report.

Because of these unique challenges, Edelman says they launched the Hispanic Star "hubs"—regional groups of volunteers designed to bring people together and focus on each region and city's specific issues. They're also responsible for getting Family Support Packs, featuring critical home and personal care items provided by P&G, to families who need them most.

Photo courtesy of P&G Good Everyday

"We managed to get over 1.2 million products and helped more than 200,000 families nationwide. And the support is still ongoing," Edelman said. Collaborations with companies like P&G have enabled them to reach an extraordinary number of people. Still, there is a lot of ground to cover, and Edelman encourages anyone who is able to get involved.

"You can join your local hub, and if there isn't one you can start your own!" Edelman said. "There are so many things the community needs...we need stars to step up and lead the charge."

Short on time? You can make a difference by simply joining the P&G Good Everyday rewards program. Pick the Hispanic Star as your cause and by taking a survey, answering a quiz or scanning a receipt with P&G products, you can earn rewards. And the best part? As you earn, P&G will automatically donate to a cause you care about—so you can turn your everyday actions into acts of good, helping organizations like Hispanic Star extend further and provide immediate help to more and more families in need.
Pexels / Julia M Cameron
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In the last 20 years, the internet has become almost as essential as water or air. Every day, many of us wake up and check it for the news, sports, work, and social media. We log on from our phones, our computers, even our watches. It's a luxury so often taken for granted. With the COVID-19 pandemic, as many now work from home and children are going to school online, home access is a more critical service than ever before.

On the flip side, some 3.6 billion people live without affordable access to the internet. This digital divide — which has only widened over the past 20 years — has worsened wealth inequality within countries, divided developed and developing economies and intensified the global gender gap. It has allowed new billionaires to rise, and contributed to keeping billions of others in poverty.

In the US, lack of internet access at home prevents nearly one in five teens from finishing their homework. One third of households with school-age children and income below $30,000 don't have internet in their homes, with Black and Hispanic households particularly affected.

The United Nations is working to highlight the costs of the digital divide and to rapidly close it. In September 2019, for example, the UN's International Telecommunication Union and UNICEF launched Giga, an initiative aimed at connecting every school and every child to the internet by 2030.

Closing digital inequity gaps also remains a top priority for the UN Secretary-General. His office recently released a new Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The UN Foundation has been supporting both this work, and the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, which made a series of recommendations to ensure all people are connected, respected, and protected in the digital age. Civil society, technologists and communications companies, such as Verizon, played a critical role in informing those consultations. In addition, the UN Foundation houses the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), which advances digital inclusion through streamlining technology, unlocking markets and accelerating digitally enabled services as it works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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We're more than nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic and things are only getting worse. On Wednesday, December 2, America had its deadliest day yet with nearly 3,000 people succumbing to the virus.

America is experiencing its greatest public health crisis in generations and the only way we're getting out of it is by widespread administration of a vaccine.

However, if people don't take the vaccine, there will be no end to this horror story.

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This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

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Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Sometimes it seems like social media is too full of trolls and misinformation to justify its continued existence, but then something comes along that makes it all worth it.

Apparently, a song many of us have never heard of shot to the top of the charts in Italy in 1972 for the most intriguing reason. The song, written and performed by Adriano Celentano and is called "Prisencolinensinainciusol" which means...well, nothing. It's gibberish. In fact, the entire song is nonsense lyrics made to sound like English, and oddly, it does.

Occasionally, you can hear what sounds like a real word or phrase here and there—"eyes" and "color balls died" and "alright" a few times, for example—but it mostly just sounds like English without actually being English. It's like an auditory illusion and it does some super trippy things to your brain to listen to it.

Plus the video someone shared to go with it is fantastic. It's gone crazy viral because how could it not.

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With vaccine rollouts for the novel coronavirus on the horizon, humanity is getting its first ray of hope for a return to normalcy in 2021. That normalcy, however, will depend on enough people's willingness to get the vaccine to achieve some level of herd immunity. While some people are ready to jump in line immediately for the vaccine, others are reticent to get the shots.

Hesitancy runs the gamut from outright anti-vaxxers to people who trust the time-tested vaccines we already have but are unsure about these new ones. Scientists have tried to educate the public about the development of the new mRNA vaccines and why they feel confident in their safety, but getting that information through the noise of hot takes and misinformation is tricky.

To help increase the public's confidence in taking the vaccine, three former presidents have volunteered to get their shots on camera. President George W. Bush initially reached out to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx to ask how he could help promote a vaccine once it's approved. Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton have both stated that they will take the vaccine if it is approved and will do so publicly if it will help more people feel comfortable taking it. CNN says it has also reached out to President Jimmy Carter to see if he is on board with the idea as well.

A big part of responsible leadership is setting an example. Though these presidents are no longer in the position of power they once held, they are in a position of influence and have offered to use that influence for the greater good.

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