People are finding ways to creatively join the fight against COVID-19
Photo courtesy of Ginny Engholm
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Most of us don't have much in common—or, we didn't, before the year 2020. Now, the entire human race is experiencing what it means to live through a global pandemic, in real-time.

Thankfully, people are finding innovative ways to channel their talents and energy for good. Many brands, organizations, and influencers are leading the way, and creatively capturing the world's attention by spreading hope, solidarity, and awareness during a challenging—and sometimes boring—time.

Meet Annie Engholm, a creative 9-year-old with a gift for jewelry-making. When the stay-at-home order went into effect and she was suddenly stuck at home with her family, Annie found herself with a lot of big feelings coupled with a surplus of spare time.


Photo courtesy of Ginny Engholm

She began crafting wearable art from the large bins of googly eyes, ribbon, construction paper and sparkly things she keeps stored on the enclosed back porch of her home. The creations were so downright awesome that her parents, Ginny and Scott, suggested she created an online store, Annie's Ever After Etsy Shop, to sell her wares.

Her mom says that Annie designs and makes everything herself, attaching pieces with a glue gun or by hand-sewing. Her dad taught her how to digitally upload the items to her Etsy shop, so she's able to take a photo of each item and place it in her store, all by herself. She also packages orders and hand makes a card for each one. "The only things we do for her is order the supplies, print the shipping labels, and take orders to the post office," said Ginny.

Annie quickly earned $264 in sales, which she decided to donate to a local hospital to, in her words, "help fight the virus." To date, she has donated a total of $500, but her goal is to hit $1,000.

"It makes me feel happy to put my emotions into something," Annie said. "I love to do crafts." She is hoping that by doing her part to fight the virus, social distancing will end quickly so she can see her friends again, because she really, really misses her friends.

Writer and mother of two Alice Gomstyn, a native of northern New Jersey, decided to use her talent and varied network to host a fundraiser perfectly suited for a pandemic: a virtual poetry slam.

Gomstyn, along with her co-host Kyra Gilbreath, organized the April 15 fundraiser as an hour-long video conference call. To get the Zoom link, participants were asked to donate at minimum $20, but many gave much more. Once the slam began, participants suggested subjects for rhyming poems that Gomstyn would quickly write and perform live, minutes later. The guests enjoyed a happy hour ambiance as they were entertained by an eclectic hodgepodge of poetry and musical parodies.

"It goes without saying that it's been a very stressful, scary time, especially if you live in the New York metro area and other hard-hit regions," said Gomstyn. "My favorite part of using my weird little speed-rhyming talent was making the people on my screen smile and laugh, the pandemic notwithstanding."The virtual poetry slam raised just under $1,700, which she gifted to a grassroots group founded in March—a New Jersey-based nonprofit devoted to buying meals from area restaurants and delivering them to healthcare workers at local hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because most people are staying home (and running out of options on Netflix), large companies are taking the opportunity to entertain the masses while indirectly raising money to help the fight against COVID-19. Take, for example, 15-year-old Charli D'Amelio, the most followed person on TikTok (54.9 million followers!). She partnered with P&G to create the #DistanceDance challenge to raise awareness of social distancing and money for charity organizations Feeding America and Matthew: 25 Ministries.

To kick it off, Charli posted a video demonstrating a few simple dance moves with a caption encouraging fans to "stay home and do the #distancedance. Because of her massive following, the video had 95,000 views in the first ten minutes. Ten hours later, it was up to 6 million views and it's skyrocketed from there.

@charlidamelio Stay home & do the ##distancedance. Tag me & the hashtag in your video. P&G will donate to Feeding America & Matthew 25 for first 3M videos ##PGPartner
♬ Big Up's (feat. Yung Nnelg) - Jordyn, Nic Da Kid

A Miami-based singer and entertainer, Persephone Dove, told Welcometoterranova she was inspired to join the challenge after seeing the citizens in Italy performing on their balconies. "Now, I can safely brighten peoples' day, while still working towards my dreams of stardom and making the world a better place at the same time."

Bottom line: staying home saves lives. It's awe-inspiring to see what can happen when people come together. The very best of humanity shines during the darkest times, and this is true now. So, to everyone who is taking a tough situation and using it for good, we are here for it.

Turn your everyday actions into acts of good every day at P&G Good Everyday.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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Trying to herd those flies virtually during a pandemic is too much to even fathom.

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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