Win or Lose, Serena Williams Is Already a Champion

“To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today. And I tried.”

Serena Williams during her final match at Wimbledon. Corinne Dubreuil/Abaca/Sipa USA/AP

Her feet were a bit slow and her tennis serve less zippy after a torn pectoral muscle. Then there was the cesarian section and the blood clots—just 10 months ago—and the baby weight that hasn’t dropped off.

“To all the moms out there,” Serena Williams said at the end of the Wimbledon final on Saturday, where she lost two consecutive sets, “I was playing for you today. And I tried.”

Although Williams didn’t win this time, she triumphed in other ways—in her return to the court after a complicated pregnancy, and in her growing voice as an advocate for women’s issues, writes Sally Jenkins in a column for the Washington Post. “At every turn, Serena Williams has refused to let her new motherhood be a story about a stud-heroic athletic feat but instead has continually made a vital pivot to other women.”

“With her health restored, she has plenty of chances ahead to become the greatest champion ever,” writes Jenkins. “But more interestingly, she already has become an important, transformational one.”

Looking for a break from the insults and political attacks? This week I’m focusing on people who worked to help others. Read on! Recharge is a weekly newsletter full of stories that will energize your inner hellraiser. You can sign up at the bottom of the story. 

  • At Goodwill, she found a vintage projector—and another family’s memories. Who is that glamorous woman in the strapless evening gown with the Veuve Cliquot? Who is the family atop the 1950s car? Or in Japan? Or, apparently, in the middle of the Pacific on an airstrip on Wake Island? When Kristie Baeumert spotted the Argus 300 Model III slide projector at a Goodwill in Tyrone, Georgia, she thought it would be perfect for her grandmother’s slides. Only later did she discover the images from the original owner. That was the start of Baeumert’s quest to find the family depicted in the photos. “If this was my family,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I would want these.” After the story went viral, drawing attention from readers all over the world and various TV stations, Baeumert finally connected with one of the family’s relatives. She’ll be returning the photos, and she hopes that the story “inspires people to dust off some boxes in their basements and bring those old memories to life again.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • A smart shopping cart for the homeless. It has a brake. It also has compartments that lock. A group from western Canada has come up with a new kind of cart to help homeless people store their possessions safely. The folks behind the initiative took suggestions from homeless people, who said they wanted something lightweight, waterproof, and able to handle gravel, curves, snow, and mushy terrain. “A lot of our people spend most of their days worrying about, or trying to take care of, or tracking down their stuff,” says Devon Siebenga, who is part of a church that is working with students and engineering staff at the University of British Columbia. Siebenga cautions that this is only part of the solution. “It’s not going to replace housing or keep people off the streets,” he says. But the cart could give people peace of mind over the security of their belongings, and allow them to focus on their own recovery or safety needs. “This provides a dignified alternative while they seek to get their lives back on track.” One shopping cart prototype has been made and four more are on the way. (The Guardian)
  • Chance brought them together. Social media celebrated their moment. The flight attendants couldn’t communicate with Tim Cook, 64, who was deaf and blind. They made an announcement asking for help on the Boston-to-Portland flight, and Clara Daly, 15, stepped up and pressed the call button. Daly had taken a year of American Sign Language. She knelt in front of him and began spelling out words in his hand. A neighboring passenger, Lynette Scribner, caught the exchange and took a photo, which was shared nearly 600,000 times on Facebook. “I don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many people rally to take care of another human being,” Scribner wrote in her post. “How are you?” Daly asked him. “Are you O.K.?” They talked intermittently throughout the flight, and Cook, headed home, said he was “very moved” that Daly took the time to talk to him. “Maybe it was meant to be, who knows?” the Oregon man told the television station KGW. (New York Times)
  • Pounce on this. A man and his daughter exited a subway train, leaving behind a very cute bunny—and realizing it only when the doors closed. Here’s how a rider, who found it, got it back to them. This whole Twitter thread—full of others weighing in about their own lost bunnies and bears—is pretty delightful. (Mark A. Izatt)

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