Purple parking spots show how a small gesture can make a heartfelt impact on our vets.
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Veterans Crisis Line

The next time you're cruising around looking for a parking spot, you may just come across a purple one.

Spotted in Ohio. GIF via WKBN27.


Who are these purple parking spots for?

They work much like handicap spots, only they're meant specifically for our brave veterans who were wounded in combat. They're a simple way to show appreciation for them.

The purple spots and matching signs are beginning to appear in the parking lots of businesses, churches, schools, government, and medical facilities around the country.

The spots are having a truly profound impact. "I was almost at a loss for words. I was so grateful," Bobby Woody told Military Order of the Purple Heart after seeing two veterans painting a parking spot purple at a Lowe's Home Improvement store.

Full story on MOPH's Facebook page. Image used with permission.

The spots are purple in honor of the Purple Heart, a military decoration awarded to those wounded or killed in combat.

There are over 1.8 million recipients of the Purple Heart living in the United States today, and even more wounded vets. The mission of these parking spots is inclusive of them all, many of whom are handicapped or disabled as a result of injuries received in combat.

Wounded Warriors Family Support, a Nebraska-based group that helps families of wounded or killed soldiers, is leading the effort. Their Combat Wounded Parking Signs program is just one initiative to honor wounded military members.

More than 2,000 signs have been given out so far, according to John Folsom, president and founder of Wounded Warriors Family Support.

Even an eighth-grade class took up the opportunity to pass them out.

"I thought, what a wonderful tribute to our combat wounded veterans," teacher Carol Nicholas told Wounded Warriors. "It'd be so nice to have my students involved in it."

And that's just what she did with her eighth-grade class.

Her students were able to get their hands on 100 parking signs. And today, at least 42 of them are being used at local businesses in their Florida town, bringing the community together in support of their local military veterans.

The parking spaces have made their way from coast to coast, with some most recently spotted in Warren, Ohio.

The best part: The parking signs are easy to get — and they're free.

It's a simple and real-life way to support your local veterans. To request signs for your own establishment, all you have to do is apply online and pay for the shipping to receive a sign of your own.

See more about how an eighth-grade class changed the parking scene in their community and how you can get involved in your own:

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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.