Good News Monday #44: Periods, Wrong Number, and Canceled Wedding

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I hope you all had a memorable Thanksgiving. As it turned out, not much was different for me.

We had a smaller gathering. A few less people for Chocolate Friday. Still, lots of love and cheer.

The best news I felt this week was a bit of a lessoning of the Trump focus. It’s not gone. Maybe never will be. Still, I feel the intensity lessoning.

Here’s a bit of really good news I found this week.

Scotland tackles Period Poverty

Quite some time ago, I heard about efforts here to remove sales tax on feminine products. The argument is that taxing tampons and sanitary pads amounts to, in effect, a female tax. That seemed sensical and far-out at the same time. The‘Tampon Tax’ lawsuit against Michigan aims to end sales taxes on menstrual hygiene products. Some states require that schools provide menstral products free of charge.

Scotland went the extra mile by providing feminine products to anyone who needs them.

The Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill — which is designed to create a legal obligation for the government to ensure sanitary products are free and accessible for all who menstruate, including tampons and pads in public facilities nationwide.

USA Today

According to advocates, this is not a women’s issue, it’s a social justice issue. Apparently,

half of the women surveyed said they had experienced what Scotland calls, “Period Poverty,” the inability to pay for menstrual products.

I never thought of it that way, but of course. When money is tight, it’s difficult to pay for necessities like pads and tampons. Of course.

Yay for Scotland!

Accidental Texting

I’m sure I’ve done it. I know I’ve been on the receiving end of an accidental text. In my case, an angry woman who was sure her best friend had done her wrong. I tried to tell her she had the wrong number, which made her angrier. I finally gave her a call and talked for several minutes.

For Wanda Dench, it was a whole different situation. In 2015, she texted Jamal Hinton thinking it was her grandson’s number. She invited Jamal for Thanksgiving dinner and he’s been coming every year since then.

This year, was no exception, except it was. Jamal brought his girlfriend Mikaela and Wanda laid and place setting at the empty chair that her husband, Lonnie should have been at.

Wanda wasn’t looking forward to Thanksgiving without Lonnie. That empty chair was one of the many that President-elect, Joe Biden talks about. Lonnie was one of the COVID-19 fatalities.

Unlikely, yet fast friends, Jamal and Wanda lean on each other as they grieve.

Oh yeah. That grandson Wanda meant to text was there, too. In a safe way, of course.

This story really made me count my blessing. It’s bad enough that families must find a way to celebrate the holidays while guarding our health. As a consequence, many tables are emptier than usual. I can’t imagine my 2020 Thanksgiving with an empty chair never be filled again.

Canceled wedding feeds 200

Emily Bigg and Billy Lewis were supposed to have a wedding of their dreams. Instead, due to COVID-19 mitigation, they got married t City Hall in Chicago on October 1.

They paid a $5,000 nonrefundable deposit to their wedding venue, Salvage One. Emily and Billy got Salvage One to use their deposit for a future event for Epilipsy Foundation, one of their favorite causes.

So what to do with the rest of the money the couple saved for their wedding? Emily and Billy decided to team up with the caterer, Big Delicious Planet to make Thanksgiving memorable to some other people.

To pay it forward, the couple donated the money to Thresholds, a nonprofit mental health provider dedicated to helping people with serious mental illnesses and substance use conditions. Emily’s and Billy’s wedding money provided Thanksgiving meals to 200 people!

Emily’s [and Billy’s] donation is an incredible example of the generosity and creativity that the pandemic has inspired in so many,” said Mark Ishaug, CEO of Thresholds. “I know that Emily’s act of kindness will inspire others to do the same and build love and connection in a difficult time, in any way we can.”

From GMA

Is it just me, or do these stories bring happy tears to your eyes, too.

Remember as you plan your holiday shopping, get togethers, and other festivities, there’s a tool to help you figure out whether travel is worth it.

The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is a collaborative project led by Prof. Joshua Weitz and Prof. Clio Andris at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with researchers at the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory and Stanford University, and powered by RStudio. Description of the method and analyses available at Nature Human Behaviour.

Is it just me, or do these stories bring happy tears to your eyes, too.

So remember, don’t despair. Good things are happening.

This week’s stories inspire me to get out there and make some good news happen.

In the meantime, practice the four Ws:

  • Wear a mask;
  • Watch your distance,
  • Wash your hands, and
  • Work together.

What’s on your good news radar this week? I’d love to hear. More is always better.