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Last month, we asked caregivers in our community to enter to win $1,000 toward wellness. Caregivers! The often unsung heroes taking care of our most vulnerable populations and one of the most crucial pillars of a healthy, functioning society.

And yet, our society rarely values and supports caregivers. It’s no wonder they’re experiencing a high level of burnout. As Ai-Jen Poo wrote for Jezebel, care is infrastructure, “but it has never before been seen or valued as such in our political discourse because women and women of color have shouldered the work of our care economy.”

For a deeper look at the state of care in our country, I recommend Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change by Angela Garbes and this newsletter issue from Anne Helen Petersen, to name just a few.

“Care has always been infrastructure,” Ai-Jen wrote, “from child care to paid leave, to home and community-based services, care is a need shared by all at some point in our lives, and is fundamental to enabling economic activity.”

This is a long introduction to reinforce how much we value and recognize the necessity of all the different types of caregivers. Below, you’ll find our three winners—a resident physician in pediatrics, an abortion doula, and a puppy-fostering superstar—and how they spent $1,000 on wellness.

Melanie, editor at Nessie Sightings

Header that says Wellness Diaries with fruit and a yoga block

This Wellness Diaries, we’re highlighting the healthiest cities in the United States. We found caretakers who live in these cities so they could highlight the different products and services in the area that keep residents well. (And also just give them some cash to spend on health and wellness, because they deserve it.)

Our only requirement: In the spirit of community wellness, all purchases had to be made at local businesses. Consider it your healthy spending guide for these cities—and, of course, an invitation to live vicariously through each local, healthy buy.

In the Wild header with a hiking boot
A Deal header with gems and flowers

One of our favorite seaweed-forward brands, Rootless, makes whole-food nutrition bites in flavors like double strawberry, orange pistachio, and coconut chai. It’s a perfect li’l companion for your morning coffee. Readers can get 20% off their Daily Bites (comes with a free countertop tin) with the code NESS20.

Invite your friends, get free stuff!
5 Referrals

A sticker & snail mail from our editor
10 Referrals

Salad on us!
20 Referrals

A small goodie ($)
50 Referrals

A big goodie ($$$)
100 Referrals

A massage!
1000 Referrals

Year's worth of free massages!
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