What the women who worked to elect Hillary Clinton are doing now.

When Clara Spera says she has looked up to Hillary Clinton her entire life, she’s not exaggerating: Clinton visited Spera’s day care when she was a toddler.

Although she didn’t know it at the time, that chance encounter was the start of something for Spera.

Clara Spera and Hillary Clinton. Photo via Clara Spera, used with permission.


Now a student at Harvard Law School, Spera says she knew she had to be a part of Clinton’s campaign last summer. She was working in Paris and was stunned by the Brexit vote result. Her first thought the next morning was “If they can do this ... President Trump.”

Spera got involved through a friend who was working on the campaign and rearranged her schedule so she’d only take classes two days a week. She spent the rest of her week commuting to Brooklyn and working as an intern on the campaign’s voter protection team.  

“I felt like it was my duty to do anything I could to try to prevent a Trump presidency,” she says.

Spera is just one of many women who joined the effort to elect Clinton. But who were these women? And why were they so invested in Clinton’s presidential bid?  

After sharing a “particularly passionate Facebook rant,” Dayli Vazquez was encouraged to “take it a step further and get involved in the campaign’s grassroots efforts” by friends who were already involved with the Florida Democratic Party. The party eventually offered Vazquez a job as a field organizer.

“I had a theatrical ‘aha!’ moment in which everything was placed in perspective for me and I knew I wouldn’t forgive myself if I turned it down,” she recalls.

LaDavia Drane, who worked as the Clinton campaign’s director of African-American outreach and later as the deputy director of congressional affairs, knew a friend who “was playing a significant role” and “decided to reach out.”

LaDavia Drane walks with Hillary Clinton. Photo by Elliot Powell, Powell Photography, Inc., (Chicago).

Shola Farber applied for a role at the campaign’s headquarters in Brooklyn. She believes the campaign passed her information along because soon “senior staffers in states across the country” started to recruit her. She eventually served as the regional organizing director for the Michigan Democratic Party.

“When the opportunity arose in Michigan, I knew I could not — in good conscience — decline the offer," Farber says. "Too much was at stake in this election; I felt an obligation to do whatever I could to help Secretary Clinton reach the People’s House. I took on the role with a deep sense of purpose.”

Zerlina Maxwell, on the other hand, randomly received a phone call with a job offer while she was writing for Essence magazine. Maxwell served as the campaign's director of progressive media.

Zerlina Maxwell shakes hands with Hillary Clinton. Photo via Barbara Kinney/Hillary for America.

“It didn’t take me a lot of time to say yes. ... I didn’t want to not do everything I could possibly do to help,” she explains.

Although these women's responsibilities varied, their goal was singular: help Clinton become our country’s first female president.

Their efforts, however, were not rewarded. As the electoral map slowly turned red Nov. 8, their shared dream fell apart.

“The outcome of the election came as a total shock. We were blindsided. It was as though a dear friend or family member had died unexpectedly,” recalls Farber, who was in the conference room of a law office in Southfield, Michigan, on election night.

Vazquez was with a group of volunteers and paid staff at the Ybor, Florida, campaign office for what she thought was going to be a victory party. “None of us were prepared for the outcome,” she says.

Drane, watching from home, says she "felt deeply empty by the end of the night.”

Spera took what she calls “the most expensive cab” of her life back to her parents’ apartment, crying the entire time. She says she went to bed wrapped in a Hillary for America Legal Team sweatshirt, just hoping for a miracle.

The election was over, but the fight was not. Soon after, they got to work.

Vazquez says she has jumped right back into the local political scene, getting involved with numerous Democratic organizations. Drane also picked up another job in politics: She’s working as the chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-New York).  

Maxwell, a political analyst, speaker, and writer, is continuing the work she did before joining the campaign: giving speeches on college campuses about sexual assault and rape culture. Farber co-founded a political consultancy that “brings the best practices of political organizing to the digital world” and is working as a freelance writer.

As for Spera, she’ll clerk for two federal judges in New York once she graduates. “I am mostly angry for now, but I plan to fuel that anger into action,” she says.

Vazquez echoed her sentiments. When asked what advice she’d give to others who have faced a similarly crushing defeat, she says to take the time to grieve, “then get back up and fight like hell.”

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

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Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Usually when we share a story of a couple having been married for nearly five decades, it's a sweet story of lasting love. Usually when we share a story of a long-time married couple dying within minutes of each other, it's a touching story of not wanting to part from one another at the end of their lives.

The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

Patricia, who was 78 at her passing, had made her career as a nurse. LD, who would have turned 76 next month, had been a truck driver. Patricia was "no nonsense" while LD was "fun-loving," and the couple did almost everything together, according to their joint obituary.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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via Elliot Page / Instagram

Elliot Page, once publicly known as Ellen Page, has announced he is transgender. The announcement makes the Oscar-nominated actor one of the most high-profile celebrities to come out as transgender.

The actor currently stars in Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy" and has acted in films such as "Juno," "Inception," and the "X-Men" franchise.

Page made the announcement on social media where he celebrated the joy of coming out while taking the opportunity to discuss the issues faced by the transgender community.

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