• Teen sisters use their passion for baking to support Afghan refugee youth in their community

    Sisters Lily and Evie Babcock love to cook and have found a way to combine their passion for baking with making a difference and helping others. Lily, 17, and Evie, 15, who live in Atlanta, honed their cooking skills on Food Network’s Chopped Junior (Lily), and Fox’s Masterchef Junior (Evie), and decided to put their expertise to good use starting a baking campaign to help turn their homestate of Georgia blue. “Once you get a taste for making a difference in the world, you can’t stop,” Lily tells Yahoo Life. They reached out to New American Pathways, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization that helps refugees. The organization is located in the Clarkston area, which is known as “the most diverse square mile in America” or “the Ellis Island of the South” for welcoming and resettling a diverse and robust refugee population. At the suggestion of New American Pathways, the teens started a bake sale to raise funds for backpacks and school supplies for Afghanistan refugee youth going back to school — in some cases, for the very first time. “With what is going on in Afghanistan, they are expecting a lot of new refugees to come in,” says Evie. Raising money for school supplies was meaningful to the two teens. “Having school supplies that you’re excited to use was a really big push towards my love of learning,” Lily shares. New American Pathways told the teens that they would appreciate it if they could fill 100 backpacks with school supplies for the refugee children. “We ended up getting 240 filled backpacks,” says Lily. “Knowing that each backpack would be held by a kid that might have not had a backpack at all felt really good, and I was excited to know that hopefully we’d be able to fuel their love of learning.” The sisters hope to inspire others to make a difference — however small — and to find ways to help people in their own communities. “No matter how small you might feel like your voice is,” says Lily, “just know that you can make a difference in your community. You just have to go for it.”

  • 10-year-old who helped donate 100,000 meals is on a mission to spread kindness

    Orion Jean is a kid on a mission. His goal: to spread kindness to as many people as he can and inspire others to do the same. It all started last year when Orion’s elementary school teacher in Texas suggested that the then 9-year-old enter the National Kindness Speech Contest. “I decided that I was just going to give it a shot and see how it would go,” Orion tells Yahoo Life. He gave a speech about how kindness could “change a nation,” and won the competition, receiving a $500 cash prize. He quickly realized he wasn’t going to use all of that money. “I’m a kid,” Orion says, “I have everything that I could ever want. But there are people who don’t.” Orion, who says his parents instilled in him that “kindness is a virtue that we should all try to possess,” came up with the idea of the Race to Kindness campaign — a series of events to help others. Orion describes Race to Kindness as “just an idea where I hoped that I would be able to spread kindness and people would be able to join the race by spreading kindness in their own communities.”

  • Animal rescuer uses drones to save hurt animals after natural disasters

    Animal rescuer and cinematographer Douglas Thron’s passion for animals began when he was a little kid. “I started rescuing orphaned baby animals,” Thron tells Yahoo Life. “And I wanted to be a wildlife cinematographer.” At the time of the Paradise fire in California in 2018, Thron was working as a cinematographer filming a man who was rescuing cats using an infrared handheld camera. The camera uses heat to detect the animals at night. Thron and the man talked about how incredible it would be to put one on a drone to detect animals more easily. “The animal’s body temperature will glow on the screen and you can pick them out amongst the rubble,” explains Thron. The first animal Thron ever rescued was a dog in the Bahamas after a category 5 hurricane hit, which “wiped out hundreds of houses,” he says. Thron tested out putting an infrared scope on a drone and found the dog “literally in the middle of the giant debris pile where hundreds of houses had been smashed,” he says. “I flew the drone over and I found him. I was able to rescue him. And nobody claimed him after 30 days so I adopted him, and he’s a super wonderful dog.” Thron adds that he’s basically been “going non-stop since then.” His TV show, Doug to the Rescue, shows some of his heartwarming animal rescues, including after Hurricane Laura in Louisiana in 2020 and after fires in Northern California and Oregon. Thron also helped rescue koalas after fires ravaged parts of Australia in 2020, using infrared-equipped drones for the first time there to help locate the animals. Thron’s dream is to one day have an animal rescue ranch where he can train others on flying drones and “hopefully makes these infrared drones as popular for rescuing animals as helicopters are for rescuing people after a disaster,” he says.

  • Man fixes broken down cars and gives them to people in need: ‘It’s the best feeling in the world’

    Restaurant owner Eliot Middleton knows that having access to a car, particularly for those living in rural areas, changes everything. So he fixes broken down cars for free and gives them to people in need.

  • Galvanized by her son's illness, she became a trailblazer in environmental justice

    Ebony Twilley Martin has gone from Greenpeace member to the organization's co-executive director. Now in its 50th year, she wants to diversify its membership.

  • Teen Born 6 Days After His Dad Died on 9/11 Overcomes His Elevator Fears at the World Trade Center

    In Rebuilding Hope: The Children of 9/11, streaming now on discovery+, Gabriel Jacobs Dick takes the 102-floor ride to One World Observatory