Funding from CREDO Mobile supports KIND in its work to provide unaccompanied migrant children with the help they desperately need

Every month, thousands of unaccompanied children arrive at the U.S. border. Most are teens, some are toddlers. Many have suffered horrific trauma and abuse. A report by Doctors Without Borders on the Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala stated that “the violence experienced by the population is not unlike that of individuals living through war. Citizens are murdered with impunity, kidnappings and extortion are daily occurrences. Non-state actors perpetuate insecurity and forcibly recruit individuals into their ranks and use sexual violence as a tool of intimidation and control.”

When these unaccompanied children get to the U.S. border, they need care and protection. They need help and they need hope.

Kids in Need of Defense gives it to them. KIND works to safeguard the rights and well-being of children as they migrate alone in search of safety and supply them with the legal representation they desperately need when they arrive at the border. It also maintains a comprehensive psychosocial support program that connects children with medical care, mental-health care, access to education and crisis intervention.

To do all this, KIND needs support—and CREDO Mobile provides it. In April, our customers and community members voted to send a significant grant to KIND. This funding will enable KIND to continue its mission to protect migrant children and ensure that unaccompanied children on the move have access to protection, due process and critical social services.

Here’s a brief report from our friends at KIND that describes the many ways our donation is making a difference.

Recent victories

With funding from CREDO Mobile, KIND has substantially improved our support of children on the move seeking safety. From October 2022 to September 2023, we represented more than 7,000 children across the U.S., connecting them to KIND lawyers or KIND-mentored and trained pro bono partners to address their immigration-related legal needs. Despite court backlogs and other challenges that make obtaining legal relief a multi-year process, our dedication to our clients is strong at each step. In that one-year period, we secured 402 green card approvals, 40 grants of asylum, six T visa approvals for victims of sex or labor trafficking, one U visa approval for a victim of violent crime and 1,052 work permit approvals.

To expand our reach beyond the scope of our in-house attorneys, we built a network of more than 800 law firms, corporations, law schools and bar association partners, who are matched with children in need of representation. These volunteer attorneys receive training and mentorship from KIND for the duration of their cases. During the time period stated, KIND added 54 organizations to our network of pro bono partners. To ensure quality representation, our in-house attorneys provided 249 pro bono trainings across our U.S. offices for over 2,900 attendees.

In addition, our social services team provided trauma-informed programming and worked to ensure that our clients were connected to educational opportunities, healthcare and other critical services. KIND provided 1,524 clients (1,374 in the U.S. and 150 in Mexico) with individual psychosocial services during the stated timeframe, employing a strengths-based, holistic and preventative approach focused on basic needs, stabilization and empowerment. Across the U.S., KIND welcomed 4,855 child attendees (2,511 in the U.S. and 2,344 in Northern Mexico) to therapeutic programming events. These events included toy drives, art workshops and virtual social gatherings. We held back-to-school drives in September to give children the supplies they needed for the school year. Altogether, these child-centered, culturally responsive offerings mitigate any potential for re-traumatization that our clients might experience as they integrate into their new communities. KIND complements these in-house services with client referrals to partner service-providers for mental health, medical and academic support. During the yearlong period referenced, we also expanded our network of providers in the U.S. One example of KIND’s outreach is our Northern Virginia field office, where we now partner with Dream Project VA to make sure our child clients have equal access to educational opportunities, scholarships and mentors.

The challenges faced by children on the move is not limited to those crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In recognition of this, we advanced our efforts internationally. We protected children in Mexico, confronted the root causes of migration in Central America and connected children on the move in Europe to needed legal services. We also strengthened the capacity of our partners in the U.S. and around the world who work with our vulnerable client population through trainings and other activities.

KIND’s work changes the trajectory of our client’s lives and our services are needed now more than ever. We will continue to advocate for the rights of unaccompanied children, working at both the individual and systems levels to transform the policies, programs and processes that fundamentally shape children’s immigration experiences. CREDO Mobile’s support has made tangible positive changes in the lives of many children.

New initiatives

KIND has a number of important new projects in progress.

Keeping Kids Safe Campaign. Immigration reform needs to be addressed at the systemic level to ensure lasting impact on vulnerable children. To that end, we’re working diligently to provide immigration relief for our clients and to improve the U.S. immigration system as a whole. This spring, we initiated our Keeping Kids Safe Campaign, which is aimed at building public support for legislative reform in immigration court. The campaign is currently focused on the Immigration Court Efficiency and Children’s Court Act of 2023. If passed, this legislation would allow for separate children’s dockets in immigration court to alleviate the severe backlog in the current system, which serves both adults and children and has wait times up to seven years. The specialized children’s dockets would feature specially trained personnel, child-participation protocols and coordination with legal services organizations to put children’s best interests first.

Central American Minors Refugee and Parole Program. We’re extremely proud of our progress in the Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee and Parole Program. Through the program, parents and legal guardians in the U.S. can apply for their qualifying children in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to join them in the U.S. with refugee status or via humanitarian parole. Since our CREDO Mobile grant, we hired two Guatemalan attorneys to accompany and orient eligible children in their CAM processes in April-May 2023. As of September 30, 2023, KIND has worked with 72 individuals, including 45 qualifying children and 27 family members. By providing information about the U.S. refugee process to children and helping prepare them for their interviews, we’re ensuring that children know how to share critical insights in their CAM interviews, thereby increasing their chance of obtaining U.S. refugee status. We’re currently working to expand the program in spring 2024 by recruiting law clinics to provide direct representation to children during CAM interviews under KIND mentorship.

If you’d like to learn more or get involved with KIND, please visit And follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Common Cause fights to ensure that government works for all Americans, not the wealthy few

Note from the CREDO Mobile team: This December, Common Cause is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO Mobile community will help Common Cause in its mission to build a democracy that works for everyone and ensure that our government serves all the people, not just the wealthy and partisan special interests.

Read this important blog post about Common Cause’s critical work, then visit and cast your vote to help send funding to Common Cause to support its efforts—and the efforts of our other outstanding December grantees.

First, thank you. Thank you so much for staying engaged throughout all the chaos and for investing your time, energy and money in so many worthy fights. Thank you for embracing our wins (big and small) and refusing to let go of hope.

We’re approaching a fiercely contested election amid a landscape rife with threats to our democracy: the rising tide of authoritarianism and violence; political insiders rigging electoral maps that shut people out; expanding disinformation fueled by unaccountable social media platforms and turbocharged by unregulated AI; and relentless assaults on voting rights by state legislatures and right-wing courts.

Despite the darkness we have been through and continue to dig out of, there is light. Together with our 1.5 million members and supporters across the country and with our activists in every Congressional district, we’ve achieved a year of victories that many thought were impossible.

How did we do it? For 53 years, Common Cause has married federal, state and local democracy work to win, building deep on-the-ground power through our 25 state offices: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

We remove barriers to the ballot box, especially for people of color and marginalized communities, and push back against bad legislation and bad actors who want to suppress or thwart the vote. We run year-round election-protection programs, combat democracy disinformation, work to end partisan gerrymandering and more. Want to help? Join our pro-democracy movement here and volunteer.

Read on to learn more about how Common Cause is working around the clock to protect the will of the people and defend and nourish our most valuable national asset: our democracy.

State actions

We pass pro-democracy laws and block or blunt the impacts of bad voting bills proposed by Republican-controlled states aiming to suppress the votes of communities of color, young people and others whose voices are frequently marginalized.

Texas: We defeated dangerous bills that would have created harsh enforcement of suppressive election laws, allowed election judges to carry guns in polling places, banned voting on campuses and ended the countywide voting program.

Pennsylvania: We stopped a Republican group’s attempt to purge the state voter rolls.

Michigan: We passed key bills that expand early, in-person voting, require state-funded absentee-ballot drop boxes and postage for absentee applications and ballots, and require that only election officials can conduct post-election audits.

New York: We passed a permanent vote-by-mail bill.

Colorado: We pushed through a bill to make Colorado the first state in the nation to expand automatic voter registration to tribal nations.

New Mexico: We passed a historic voting rights package and have strengthened protections for our frontline election workers.

Ohio: We delivered a historic win as Issue 1 went down to defeat, saving people-led ballot initiatives from a power grab by state legislators.


Election protection

As co-leader of the National Election Protection Coalition, Common Cause oversees strategic vision and planning in 40-plus states. Our work includes recruiting, training, mobilizing and debriefing tens of thousands of volunteers each election.

Field: We recruited 50,000 Election Protection Volunteers in 40 states between 2020 and 2022.

Tech: We built a mobilization tool that managed 20,000 volunteer sign-ups in 41 states in 2022. We’re on track to more than double that in 2024.

Education: In a rapidly evolving environment, with new voting and election laws and changing district lines, we serve as a trusted nonpartisan source of information that voters need to participate with confidence.

Policy reform: There are hundreds of policy choices every election cycle that make it harder or easier for voters to participate. Our priorities include:

  • Making it easier for voters to register and stay registered to vote.
  • Expanding access to the ballot.
  • Protecting voters and our elections from political violence, election sabotage/subversion, cyberattacks, natural disasters and other threats.


Combatting democracy disinformation

We play the key intel-gathering and messaging-dissemination role within the democracy disinformation ecosystem. We’re the only organization leading this type of communication and rapidly disseminating it to the states. We recruited and trained over 2,000 social media monitors during the past midterm elections.

Redistricting and representation: In order for people to hold elected officials accountable, elections have to be run by rules that are fair, using district maps that don’t preordain winners. Common Cause is committed to securing redistricting reforms and fair maps through movement building, legislative changes and litigation.

Media and democracy: We protect a free and open internet and an independent press by restoring net neutrality, blocking media mergers that would drown out local journalism and expanding access to broadband. We set a groundbreaking FCC precedent by successfully defending local news from what would have been one of the largest hedge fund media takeovers in our country’s history by stopping Standard General and Tegna from merging. We pressured AT&T/DirecTV and Verizon to drop far-right, pro-Trump One America News (OAN).

Justice and democracy: Common Cause restores voting rights to justice-involved citizens and works to end prison gerrymandering. We won back voting rights for 50,000 Minnesotans with past felony convictions who are still on parole, probation or have not completed some components of their sentences.

Youth and democracy: We’re building a pipeline of democracy activists with a focus on HBCUs in Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi and Maryland. We train students in campus organizing, GOTV and the nuances of voting in their state.

Thank you for all that you do year-round in service of a better, more inclusive democracy. We hope your holiday season is spent with family and friends, recharging your batteries, and full of celebration, reflection and recommitment to enter 2024 with strength and grace.

Learn more about Common Cause and the work we do at

Landmark news – we’ve raised $95 million for change

Most companies are in business to make money. We’re different. We’re in business to make change.

We do it by funding nonprofit groups working for progressive change through a unique—and uniquely effective—donations program.

Every time our customers use our service, they generate donations for nonprofit groups working for a better world. These donations cost our customers nothing extra. But they mean everything to the groups we fund. We’ve now raised over $95 million for nonprofits dedicated to causes like climate justice, a fair economy and equal rights for everyone.

That’s a lot of money. And it’s made a lot of change. In recent years alone, the nonprofits we support have won numerous victories for the progressive causes you care about.

  • Amazon Watch pressed President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to veto a right-wing attempt to restrain the rising strength of Indigenous peoples in Brazil. This is a critical win for Indigenous rights and for the Amazon rainforest.
  • Social Security Works shared the truth about new House Speaker Mike Johnson. He’s an enemy of Social Security who wants to raise the retirement age, cut benefits and force women to have babies so the ultra-wealthy can continue avoiding their fair share of Social Security contributions.
  • stopped or delayed 21 fossil fuel mega-projects, from bitumen pipelines to oil train terminals to natural-gas fracking. If we are to avoid climate catastrophe, it’s crucial that projects like these be halted now.
  • March for Our Lives organized nationwide protests following the horrific mass shootings in Buffalo, NY, and Uvalde, TX, to demand that elected officials take action. Soon after the protests, bipartisan gun reform legislation was passed and signed into law by President Biden, the first major gun safety legislation by Congress in nearly 30 years.
  • Equal Rights Advocates drove workplace-justice reforms in California to protect half a million domestic workers and garment factory workers from unsafe conditions and wage theft.
  • The ACLU educated and energized voters to go to the polls in November and played a key role in winning election victories in Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia that bolster the right of women to make their own decisions about whether and when to have a child, without interference from judges and politicians.
  • The Brennan Center for Justice developed bold solutions to ensure that every eligible American can cast a ballot and worked across the U.S. to defend democracy by making voting more free, fair and easy.

Our customers powered all these successes and many more just by using their phones. Yes, it really is that simple. And it’s enormously impactful, raising real money and driving real victories for progressive causes.

We make a difference—and that’s why we’re different. Our passion is not dollars, it’s change. And we operate a donations program robust and effective enough to make it happen.

If you’re a CREDO Mobile customer, thank you. It’s because of you that we’ve been able to reach $95 million in donations and give it to nonprofits working for the causes you believe in. That’s a good feeling. If you’d like to share it, tell your friends about us.

If you’re not a CREDO Mobile customer, please think about joining. It’s easy to do. You can bring the phone you have now. You can choose from a variety of affordable plans to suit you—same as the other carriers. And you can enjoy service on the nation’s top-rated network.

Climate crisis, hate, species vanishing, democracy under attack. Our world is full of challenges. But we’re working on them. We look forward to working with you.

Join the movement: Save life on Earth

Note from the CREDO Mobile team: This December, the Center for Biological Diversity is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO Mobile community will help the Center for Biological Diversity in its mission to secure a future for all species hovering on the brink of extinction and preserve a world where the wild is still alive.

Read this important blog post about the Center for Biological Diversity’s critical work, then visit and cast your vote to help send funding to the Center for Biological Diversity to support its efforts—and the efforts of our other outstanding December grantees.

There has never been a time in human history when so many animals and plants were disappearing so rapidly from our planet. In October, 21 species of animals were declared extinct in the U.S. All of these wild beings had a beating heart and now it has been confirmed they’re gone forever.

Left unchecked, the wildlife extinction crisis could steal a million more species in the coming decades. It’s gut-wrenching to ponder a world without bears, wolves, butterflies, sea turtles, birds, frogs, trees, flowers and many other irreplaceable animals and plants.

The Center for Biological Diversity works on the front lines of this deadly crisis, leading innovative and uncompromising campaigns aimed directly at ensuring every species gets a shot at survival. We take an unrelenting approach that combines science, groundbreaking legal work and on-the-ground organizing to advocate for every species that is facing extinction – no matter the size, no matter the place.

Over the past three decades, the Center has secured protection for more than 750 animals and plants in the United States and around the globe. Our work has also helped preserve more than half a billion acres of wildlife habitat, including rivers, forests, deserts, mountains and oceans.

Will you join this fight to save the wild?

We’re proud to raise our voice to preserve species, save our climate and fight for a safer future for all life on Earth.

And we’re compelled, because there isn’t a moment to lose in confronting the biodiversity crisis. We lose one species every hour. Scientists tell us 41% of amphibians, 27% of mammals, 36% of corals and 13% of birds are today threatened with extinction.

We’ve already suffered heartbreaking losses, including colorful Carolina parakeets that once lived in the Midwest, sea minks that swam off the coast of Maine and, most recently, eight unique honeycreeper birds that lived only in Hawai’i.

Right now, there are fewer than 15 red wolves in the wild in the eastern U.S. Meanwhile, North Atlantic right whales have dwindled to fewer than 350 and, just south of California, the population of the world’s smallest porpoise is fewer than 10.

These animals, and hundreds more, desperately need help – and fast. Extinction is forever, so it’s critical we get this right.

With your help, we can save species from extinction

The good news is that the Center’s unrelenting approach has been paying off. Time and again, we’ve gone toe to toe with polluters, politicians and greedy corporate profiteers. More than 90% of our legal cases end in favor of the wild. Our work has tangible, on-the-ground results, including forests protected from chainsaws, deserts spared from bulldozers and clean air protected from pollution.

But we need you with us. By joining our movement, you can help the Center:

Our hard-hitting campaigns combine litigation and activism to protect biodiversity hotspots. Right now, in the U.S. alone, we’re defending Georgia’s primordial swamps in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, longleaf pine forests in North Carolina and old-growth forests in Southern California’s Los Padres National Forest. And we’re advancing fierce litigation and powerful media campaigns to end all offshore drilling in California, the Arctic and the Gulf of Mexico. Our coral reefs, ice seals, coastal birds, sea turtles and whales must be protected from inevitable oil spills.

This is the work we’re called to do

Every day, we’re reminded of the urgency of this moment, as wild plants and animals vanish before our eyes. Right now, we’re mourning the loss of 21 species. Their names are known to us: Kauaʻi ʻōʻō, Bachman’s warbler, Little Mariana fruit bat, green-blossom pearly mussel. And we won’t forget them.

The extinction crisis isn’t inevitable. It’s a moral and political choice. Every day we can choose to save life on Earth – but it can only happen with the help of people like you.

Please join our movement at And vote for us today at

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy supports equitable disaster recovery for all

Note from the CREDO Mobile team: This December, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO Mobile community will help CDP in its management of domestic and international funds on behalf of corporations, foundations and individuals to ensure that disaster recovery is equitable for all affected people.

Read this important blog post about the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s critical work, then visit and cast your vote to help send funding to CDP to support its efforts—and the efforts of our other outstanding December grantees.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has been at the forefront of mobilizing philanthropy to support equitable disaster recovery worldwide since 2010. Led by President and CEO Patty McIlreavy, CDP’s expertise and approach to disaster-related giving make us uniquely able to help donors support relief and long-term recovery in response to emergencies like the humanitarian crisis in Israel and Gaza, the Hawaii wildfires, the Horn of Africa hunger crisis and other disasters.

CDP helps donors give with confidence, knowing that their gifts support marginalized communities to rebuild and recover stronger while staying true to philanthropic and social-impact goals.

A unique approach

What sets CDP apart is our unique combination of three key factors:

  • Focus on long-term recovery. Disaster recovery is the process of bolstering the ability of individuals, families and communities to bounce back and thrive after a disaster. Recovery is an approach that takes time — often months, if not years. CDP is deeply committed to long-term recovery, aiming to create sustainable and enduring solutions. We support this approach through our educational resources, consulting services and the recovery funds we manage as an intelligent intermediary for our donors, guided by our knowledge and relationships.
  • Incorporating racial and intersectional equity. Some communities are disproportionately affected by disasters because of race, ethnicity, gender, age and other identities. Disasters exacerbate existing social inequities that make some populations vulnerable before and after a disaster. CDP supports efforts that address systemic racism and other forms of discrimination to achieve equitable disaster recovery.
  • Strengthening local leadership and capacity building. Neighbors, community-based organizations, first responders and faith communities are usually first on the scene after a disaster. Those most affected by the disaster know their community and the challenges that hinder recovery. CDP invests in these local leaders and organizations to take the lead in their own recovery process, recognizing their unique understanding of community challenges. CDP also takes the time to strategically invest in building capacity so solutions can be sustained, even after the support from CDP is received.

Fostering collaboration and building capacity for effective recovery

Disasters are multifaceted and require a concerted effort from multiple stakeholders. Supporting local leaders and organizations with the resources they need allows them to take the lead in their own recovery process. When communities tell us what they need, we listen. This approach makes it possible for the community to be more resilient in the future. Taking this approach also leads to better collaboration between funder and grantor.

Another important piece of CDP’s process lies within the grantmaking itself. We support organizations with grants that make it possible to build their capacity and talent for their communities and themselves. Sometimes our grants include funding for adding staff, developing training and expertise, and mobilizing resources for broader audiences. This investment ensures that organizations can navigate the challenges posed by disasters effectively and strategically.

Embracing equitable and responsible recovery

CDP envisions a world in which the impact of disasters is minimized by thoughtful, equitable and responsible recovery. We focus on medium- and long-term recovery, directing financial and technical support where it is most needed to make a more equitable recovery possible. Additionally, we provide expert advice and educational resources to help donors make informed decisions about where and when to give.

Recovery is about more than just restoring structures and services. It’s about addressing sources of inequity and injustice so communities can rebuild stronger.

CDP responds to large-scale disasters that affect marginalized or at-risk populations. We also draw attention to hidden crises and ongoing needs, helping funders stay informed through our Weekly Disaster Round-Up blog posts and creating disaster profiles to provide donors with detailed information.

Empowering disaster philanthropists

“At the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, we encourage all donors to be disaster philanthropists,” Patty McIlreavy wrote in a January 2023 article at the Forbes Nonprofit Council, emphasizing that all donors are disaster philanthropists, whether they realize it or not.

At CDP, we understand the complexities of disasters and utilize our resources and expertise to strengthen communities’ ability to withstand these events and recover equitably. We encourage everyone to do the same: leverage what you’ve experienced, who you care for and what you know to make a more equitable and responsible disaster recovery possible for all. Because you too are a disaster philanthropist and, together, we can support stronger communities.

Learn more about the vital work the Center for Disaster Philanthropy does at

Vote for the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Common Cause this December

Every month, CREDO members vote to distribute our monthly grant to three incredible progressive causes – and every vote makes a difference. This December, you can support the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Common Cause.

 Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity is dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. Our mission is to secure a future for all species, great and small, especially those hovering on the brink of extinction.

Funding from CREDO members will help power the Center for Biological Diversity’s 200+ active lawsuits against those who want to destroy forests, drill in our oceans and push endangered species and the climate closer to the brink.


Center for Disaster Philanthropy

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s mission is to mobilize philanthropy to strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur.

CREDO’s support allows us to direct financial and technical assistance where it is needed most, provide expert advice from experienced professionals, and disseminate educational resources to empower informed disaster giving.


Common Cause

With 1.5 million members and 25 state offices, we remove barriers to the ballot box and push back against bad legislation and actors who want to suppress the vote. We train Election Protection watchdogs, end partisan gerrymanders, combat disinformation, and more.

Funding from CREDO members will help us pass more pro-democracy, pro-voter laws. We’ve won common sense solutions like expanding vote-by-mail, making ballots available in multiple languages, extending early voting periods, automatic voter registration, and more.

Your vote this month will determine how we divide our monthly donations among these three progressive groups. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by December 31.

CREDO members who use our products and services everyday are the reason we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and join our movement.

Our November grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible nonprofits. In November, CREDO members voted to distribute our monthly donation among the American Civil Liberties Union, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our November grant recipients thank you.

American Civil Liberties Union

“We are incredibly grateful to CREDO members for sustaining the ACLU as we push back against assaults on abortion and voting rights and relentlessly fight for systemic equality and trans justice. Thank you for standing with us.” – Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU

To learn more, visit

Mi Familia Vota Education Fund

“¡Gracias! Your vote and continued support will help propel and transform our nation’s democracy into one that is representative and responsive to Latinos, and all peoples.” – Hector Sanchez Barba, President & CEO, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund

To learn more, visit

“A big THANK YOU for your continued inspiration and engagement! CREDO members like you represent the indomitable people power that stands up to corporate polluters, and drives the transition to the just and renewable future the climate crisis demands.” – Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director,

To learn more, visit

Now check out the three groups we are funding in December, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.

CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.

How to take .5 selfies, the wide-angle photos getting all the focus from Gen Z

If you have young people around for the holidays, chances are you’ll be taking some .5 selfies. Some what? you might wonder. Well, .5 selfies are the photo trend at the forefront of social media today, obsessively popular with Gen Z users. Simply called a “point five,” they’re wide-angle shots, often of a group, often so wide-angle that the people in them are crazily distorted.

Which is good. .5s are not supposed to be perfect. Out are the cropped, shopped and filtered images in which everyone looks like a supermodel. In is the .5, which is intended to look spontaneous, casual, relatable and real. Like, “I’m not a TikTok influencer, I’m me.”

We think that’s cool. We think we should be our authentic selves as much as possible. We think we should all take all the photos we want to capture that self and the .5 is a great format to do it. Here’s how.

One reason .5s are so popular is they’re easy. You don’t have to be a Gen Z tech whiz to take .5s. But you do have to follow a few steps for a satisfactory result. They come out best if your phone has an ultrawide camera lens, which most phones do now. Look for the 0.5 or 0.5x setting. If you don’t have one, select the mode with the smallest number. The vast majority of phones do not have an ultrawide lens on the front-facing camera, so you’ll have to use the rear-facing camera. Which means you won’t be able to see the image you’re capturing. But that’s the .5’s whole raison d’etre: verite. It should look spur-of-the-moment and non-composed. You’re winging it.

Since you’ll be using the rear-facing camera, you’ll probably have to push an alternate button to snap the photo. On most phones, you’ll use the volume button.

The angle is important. On most .5s, the angle is elevated, so extend your arm, raise your hand up and press the volume button.

Because you’re using a wide angle, you can fit a lot of people in the frame, which makes the .5 ideal for holiday gatherings. Don’t worry about looking immaculate. That’s not the point. Just be you. Vamp, vogue, smize (smile with your eyes). Hold your phone closer to get more distortion, which is often the goal in a .5. For maximum distortion, hold your phone close and perpendicular to your forehead. Then you’ll get exaggerated eyes, spaghetti legs, tiny feet—that’s what you’re after.

.5s are excellent for capturing moments big and small. But really the point is that there are no small moments in life, just as there are no small people. Gone are the days of creating and curating a flawless, performative public image. We are who we are and that’s perfectly fine.

A Thanksgiving message

Thanksgiving. As much as it’s about food, festivities and gratitude, it’s also about community. About reaffirming our connection with family, friends and all those who share our hopes, concerns and beliefs.

For us, that’s you. You’re a member of the CREDO Mobile community and you share our belief that, together, we can create a better world. Which we are. With your help, we’re making a real difference for the progressive causes we care about, causes like climate justice, economic fairness and equal rights for everyone.

For this, we thank you. Thanks for supporting us, for voting in our monthly donations election, for reading our blog posts and emails.

Thanks especially if you’re a customer of CREDO Mobile. Because just by using our service, you generate much-needed donations for the nonprofit groups that depend on us to fund the vital work they do. Groups like, Planned Parenthood and the National LGBTQ Task Force.

And like Feeding America, which is fighting food security this holiday season and beyond. We’re grateful to be able to donate 500,000 meals as part of the organization’s meaningful Thanksgiving effort, thanks to customers like you.

Also thanking you are the nonprofits we support. Please take a moment to read messages of gratitude from a few of the groups that rely on us—and you—to do what they do.

Cool stuff you didn’t know your phone can do

Last week we shared some tips on how to get more out of your smartphone. Here are some additional tips and features to get the most out of your phone.

Android features

— prefaced by the proviso that not every Android phone has the exact same settings menu, so some of the steps we describe may not exactly match the steps necessary on your phone. If not, just use the search function in your phone’s settings menu or do a Google Search to find the right steps for your phone.

6. Turn on Find My Device

This feature will do more than track your phone if it’s lost or stolen. It will ring your phone if you’ve misplaced it at home, even if your phone is in silent mode.

If your phone is lost or stolen, with Find My Device you can remotely lock your phone, sign out of all accounts or erase your device entirely. Go to Settings > Security > Find My Device and toggle on Use Find My Device.

7. Link your phone to your Windows PC

Apple users have long enjoyed the ability to access their iPhone from their Apple PC. Now Android users can too. With Phone Link, you can access your phone from your Windows computer and see photos, read and reply to texts, take calls and receive notifications.

Go to Settings > Connections or Advanced Features, then navigate to Link to Windows. If you don’t have the Phone Link app on your device, you can get it from the Google Play Store.

8. Quick-launch your camera

It has no doubt happened to you. That once-in-a-lifetime photo op comes along and you miss it because you’re fumbling to unlock your screen and tap on the camera button. Most Android phones have a shortcut. Just double press the power button and your camera will open immediately.

9. Add your medical information

If you have a medical emergency, it’s vital for first responders to know your medical information and you may not be able to tell them. You can add the info to your phone so they can view your blood type, allergies, medications, address and other information from your lock screen. Go to Safety and Emergency > Medical Info.

10. Transcribe conversations in real time

This is a very helpful feature for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It automatically converts speech into text in real time. It’s also useful for anyone who wants to make a note while driving, say, or who needs a written record of a conversation. New Pixel phones have Live Transcribe pre-installed. You can also download the app from Google Play.

Handy iOS tips and tricks

Here are some additional cool features and settings iPhone has to offer.

6. Change your default browser or email app

If you want to use, say, Chrome and Gmail as the default browser and email on your iPhone, you can, if you have iOS 14 or later. Then if you click on a link, it will open with Chrome. If you click on an email address, it will open with Gmail.

Before you begin, make sure the app you want to use is installed on your iPhone. Then go to Settings and scroll down until you see the browser app or email app you want. Tap the app, then tap Default Browser App or Default Mail App. Select a web browser or email app to set it as the default. A checkmark will confirm that it’s the new default.

7. Magnify the small stuff

You probably don’t need a magnifying glass often—so you probably don’t have one handy. But sometimes you do need one and, when you do, you can use your iPhone as a magnifying glass to discern details in a photo or read the fine print.

If you don’t see the Magnifier app on your home screen, swipe down and search for Magnifier. You can zoom in, filter colors, add light with the flashlight, and adjust brightness and contrast.

8. Shoot photos in bursts

The secret of taking good pictures is taking a lot of pictures—at least a few of them will be standout shots. And, with an iPhone, you don’t need a fancy digital DLSR. If you have an iPhone X or earlier version, press and hold down the camera’s shutter button. If you have an iPhone XS, iPhone XR or later version, swipe the shutter button to the left. When you’re done, just lift your finger.

9. Find your car

You’re in a big parking lot or garage and you can’t find your car. First, it’s embarrassing. Then, as your search continues, it gets alarming. But with your iPhone you can locate your ride. Maps will drop a parked car marker when you disconnect your iPhone from your car’s Bluetooth or CarPlay system and leave your car.

Before you start, switch on Location Services. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services, then turn on Location Services. Also switch on Significant Locations. In Settings, tap Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services, then turn on Significant Locations.

Now switch on Show Parked Location in Maps. Go to Settings > Maps. Scroll down to Show Parked Location and turn it on. To get notifications about your car, go to Settings > Notifications > Maps, turn on Allow Notifications and choose the type of alerts you want to get.

To get directions to your parked car, in Maps search for Parked Car. Select Parked Car to see the location and tap Directions. Your phone will give you a route. On your home screen, tap the search field and tap Parked Car below the Siri suggestions to get directions to your car.

You must turn on Bluetooth and use Maps on an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 10 or later to use Show Parked Location. Maps will drop a parked car marker when you disconnect your iPhone from your car’s Bluetooth or CarPlay system and exit your car.

10. Set your phone to self-destruct

In the worst-case scenario of your phone falling into the wrong hands, you can program it to self-destruct. Turn on the setting and, if someone enters a wrong password more than 10 times, your phone will turn into a paper weight. Don’t turn the setting on if you think you might forget your password or if you have a child who can get ahold of your phone and start going at the lock screen.

If you want to proceed, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode. Your phone will ask you to enter your Passcode. Then scroll down and turn on Erase Data. Now if someone tries repeatedly to break into your phone, your data will be erased.

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