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Roy Rochlin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While some kids dream of becoming baseball players and firefighters, Candice Huffine knew she wanted to become a model. Little did she know, she’d one day make history as one.

“There’s nothing like opening a magazine, or watching television, or looking at a billboard and being, like, "Wow, you know what? She reminds me of me,' ” Huffine said on an episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis."

The former pageant girl promptly took matters into her own hands at 15 years old, when she decided to take a trip from her Maryland hometown to visit modeling agencies in New York City. Huffine came face to face with rejection on her first day there, with some agencies asking her to consider losing 20 pounds.

“This really eye-opening reality sort of hit me in that I can’t be a model, I suppose, because my body was not those ideal measurements,” Huffine told Jarvis.

Reminiscing about her 15-year-old self, Huffine remembers feeling discouraged and ready to head home. Her mom had another idea, and instead encouraged her to stay in New York for just one more day. It was on that second day that Huffine landed a life-changing opportunity and was signed as a plus-size model.

Huffine was surprised to learn that this separation for plus-size models even existed, telling Jarvis, “I wasn’t afraid to tell friends that I had just gotten this contract as a plus-size model at this new agency. To me, it meant no different.”

In 2011 she landed on the cover of Italian Vogue, and in 2015 became the first plus-size model to be featured in the revered Pirelli Calendar. Her childhood dreams had come true, but Huffine was also breaking barriers one picture at a time, redefining the terms of what it meant to be a high-fashion model.

“We’re blurring the lines. That’s been the point for a very long time is blurring those lines, because it gets very confusing and I think, frankly, damaging,” Huffine says.

Huffine has now appeared on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, W magazine, Vogue, and Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel and “Plus is Equal” campaigns. Most recently, she was on the May cover of Elle magazine.

But lately she’s being recognized for another endeavor: Project Start, an initiative she created with Women’s Running magazine to encourage women to run.

For Huffine, running began as a dare from her husband, but as soon as she started, she realized that “there is so much that running brings to your life outside of just covering distance.” Huffine completed the New York City half-marathon in 2016.

“I really just wanted to encourage women to start their journey, or restart their journey and know that they absolutely can,” she added.

These days, Huffine has become a role model for young women everywhere. “Our world is made up of so many different kinds of women, and it’s time that others get to see that so that they feel represented.”

Hear Candice Huffine’s full interview on ABC Radio’s top business podcast, “No Limits With Rebecca Jarvis," available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify and your ABC News app.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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welcomia/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Consumers complained about cars more than anything else in 2016, according to an annual report released by consumer watchdogs on Thursday.

The list compiled by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI) based on an annual survey of state and local consumer officials ranks complaints about cars as the most frequently cited by state and local consumer agencies.

They ranged from advertising issues to mechanical problems to faulty repairs to towing disputes. Complaints about shoddy or incomplete home repair or construction ranked as the second-highest complaint category.

In addition to asking agencies for their most common complaints of 2016, the survey collected information on emerging consumer issues. Used car leasing and solar energy sales both popped up as areas of growing concern, said Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy for CFA.

Consumers lacking a good credit history are often drawn to used car leases, which require little or no down payment and can be arranged through a car dealer. However, such leases can carry high interest rates and are not afforded the protection of consumer laws designed for new car purchases, Grant said.

With solar energy sales, agencies reported an uptick in problems with aggressive sales, confusing contract terms and faulty installation.

Grant described local agencies as being often the first to hear about a consumer issue.

“It’s tempting to take state and local consumer protection agencies for granted,” she said. “They stand up for the little people.”

Frauds were among the “worst” complaints cited when agencies were asked about what most impacted vulnerable consumers. These included scams such as fake offers of employment, phony grants, rental scams, bogus health cures, loan scams and government imposters such as fake IRS agents seeking money for back taxes and penalties.

Amber Capoun, NACPI president and a legal assistant for the Kansas Banking Commission, said the imposter scams are especially troubling.

“It’s important for consumers to know that no one in government is going to call them, threatening arrest unless they send money immediately,” Capoun said.

Here is the complete Top 10 list:

1. Auto - Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes.

2. Home Improvement/Construction - Shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job.

3. Utilities - Installation issues, service problems, billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, internet, electric and gas service.

4. Retail Sales - False advertising and other deceptive practices, defective merchandise, problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, failure to deliver.

5. Credit/Debt - Billing and fee disputes, mortgage modifications and mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt collection tactics.

6. Health Products/Services - Misleading claims, unlicensed practitioners, failure to deliver, medical billing issues.

7. Other Services - Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform.

8. Tie: Landlord/Tenant - Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent disputes, illegal eviction tactics; Household Goods. Misrepresentations, failure to deliver, faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances.

9. Internet Sales - Misrepresentations or other deceptive practices, failure to deliver online purchases.

10. Home Solicitations - Misrepresentations, abusive sales practices, and failure to deliver in door-to-door, telemarketing or mail solicitations, do-not-call violations.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Struggles on Wall Street Thursday for tech and transport stocks, as two of the three major indices fell back following Wednesday gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted 61.31 in gains, closing the day at 21,772.32.

The Nasdaq slid to 6,376.52 at the close, a loss of 46.23, while the S&P 500 dipped 4.89 to finish the session at 2,472.94.

Oil prices climbed again, this time by 0.68 percent. At the close, the price of a barrel was at $49.08.

The day was disappointing for delivery companies, as United Parcel Service and FedEx both finished the day lower.

Among tech stocks, Facebook climbed nearly three percent. Twitter shares fell sharply, dropping more than 14 percent, after a report showed little growth in monthly active users.

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American Airlines(NEW YORK) -- Yet another airline has announced a system to help passengers track their baggage as they travel.

American Airlines introduced an alert system this week that would notify customers when they land if their luggage is delayed or already ready for pickup.

American will send customers three types of alerts -- one for baggage that has arrived at the customer's destination before they do, and two different alerts for late-arriving baggage. Some customers, "for example those with an international segment in their reservation," may be instructed to see an agent at the Baggage Service Office, while others may be instructed to fill out a Mobile Baggage Order.

The system, as described, seems less detailed than Delta's RFID luggage tags, which allow passengers to track their baggage as they are transported around the airfield and loaded onto the plane. American's version seems most likely to help customers whose baggage gets lost or re-routed.

The alerts will be offered through the American Airlines app, via their AAdvantage account, or by providing contact information during booking or check-in.

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Amazon(NEW YORK) -- Amazon plans to hold the largest job fair in the country next month as it posts thousands of jobs across its fulfillment network, the company announced Wednesday.

According to a press release, Amazon is going to make 50,000 jobs available, and ten of the company's fulfillment centers will be open on August 2 for its first Jobs Day. The event will include tours and information sessions, and those who attend can learn about working for the company, as well as technology used in fulfilling orders.

"The company plans to make thousands of on-the-spot job offers to qualified candidates who apply on-site as part of Amazon Jobs Day," the press release says.

Amazon VP of Worldwide Operations Human Resources John Olsen said the company is "excited to be creating great jobs that offer highly-competitive wages, benefits starting on day one and the chance for employees to go back to school through our Career Choice program."

Those hired to work in Amazon's fulfillment network would be responsible for picking, packing and shipping customer orders. More than 10,000 of the jobs, Amazon says, will be part-time jobs.

The events will take place in across the country in cities as large as Baltimore and Oklahoma City and as small as Kenosha, Wisc., and Etna, Ohio. For a full list of locations, check Amazon's website.

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Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Teens are on their phones more than six-and-a-half hours a day, according to the nonprofit Common Sense Media. More than half of teens text and nearly all use social media apps, and this daily behavior may not be entirely their fault.

Many games and social media apps are designed to get people “hooked” and keep coming back, Dr. Jodi Gold, the author of Screen Smart Parenting, explained to ABC News.

Take Snapchat, the popular app among teens for sharing photos and video, which has mechanisms in place to incentivize teens to become daily users with a phenomenon called the Snapstreak.

Snapchat friends exchange a photo daily for three consecutive days to start a "streak." If one day is missed, the streak will expire. The app tracks the streak, upping the number next to the friend's name as the Snapstreak continues.

Dr. Jodi Gold said streaks can create a concerning hierarchy of friendship that can leave some teens afraid to disappoint others if they drop a streak -- or petrified about any change in status.

"This has become extremely important -- especially to teenagers," Gold said.

It's become so important that 18-year-old friends Sherlana and Ray have a 405-day Snapstreak. That means they’ve been sending each other a photo of something every day for more than a year.

The two are so invested in their streaks that if they can’t get onto the app, they turn to their mothers to send snaps for them.

Sherlana’s mother, Cindy Alphonse, told ABC News that when her daughter sees the hourglass and can't get online, she "starts to panic."

But Snapchat told ABC News that Snapstreaks are "designed to be light-hearted and fun."

It's not just apps that suck teens in. Smartphone games such as the popular strategy game Clash Royale, which has rocketed to the top of the charts, can be habit-forming.

Gold’s 11-year-old son, Carter Gold, said the game was so addicting for him that he had to delete the app from his phone in order to fully remove himself.

"They always try and pull you in more, and then they kind of never let you leave until you finally quit it," Carter said.

Supercell, the maker of Clash Royale, told ABC News: "We want people to enjoy our games when they play them, but we make it easy to leave if they don't."

Gold said the concern is not necessarily how many hours children log on the apps, but how important they are to the teen’s self-worth.

“The more you cannot leave one day without being on social media, the more your identity gets wrapped up in it; the more likely it's going to have negative effects,” she said.

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tarabird/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Communications stocks climbed on Wednesday as the major indices on Wall Street all ended higher. But health stocks weren't as lucky.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to a close of 21,711.01 -- gaining 97.58 on the day.

The Nasdaq jumped 10.57 for the session, ending the day at 6,422.75, while the S&P 500 inched up to 2,477.83 -- a gain of 0.7.

Crude oil prices jumped again, this time nearly 1.7 percent -- with the cost of a barrel finishing the day at $48.69.

Winners and losers: AT&T stock climbed five percent Wednesday, jumping to $38.03 per share. That after the company reported higher than expected profit totals in the second quarter. It also reported being on track to complete a purchase of Time Warner.

Other communications companies saw gains as well, with Time Warner stock climbing nearly two percent and Verizon jumping almost one percent.

It was a rough day, however, for health stocks. Biotech company Amgen Inc. saw its shares fall nearly three percent to $175.89.

Medical device marker Baxter International saw its stock drop 1.4 percent, while scientific research company Thermo Fisher Scientific dropped almost three percent.

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Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ride sharing service Uber will begin charging a fee to return lost items.

According to tech site Engadget, the company recent updated its policies allowing drivers in certain cities to charge $15 to return an item left behind by a rider. Currently, the policy only affects riders in Boston and Chicago, but Engadget says that the policy will apply around the country by the end of August.

The company has faced complains that it doesn't pay driers enough and that riders often fail to tip drivers. When items are left behind, many drivers complain that they have to go out of their way and lose money without compensation.

Under the policy, a rider would enter a phone number they would want to be contacted at in the Uber app. The number would be connected to that of the driver. If the item is confirmed to be found, both parties can coordinate a convenient time and place for its return.

The company says the full fee would be passed along to the drive.

Uber's main competitor, Lyft, does not have a lost item fee at this point. It does, however, encourage users to tip drivers.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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AJ Wolfe/Disney Food Blog(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- With Disney fanatics all over the world, it's sometimes difficult for fans to discover anything new.

For the die-hards, we bring you the nacho challenge at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.

Discovered by AJ Wolfe of the Disney Food Blog and shared with ABC News, the $85 (plus tax) plate of nachos is available at the restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland.

"Let a cast member know you’d like to order the secret nachos, and the whole restaurant will start buzzing with excitement," writes Wolfe on his blog.

The Nachos Rio Grande Challenge, as it is known, at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has been confirmed by a company spokesperson.

According to Wolfe, challenge hopefuls must arrive between 3 and 6 p.m. Hopefuls will be escorted to a reserved table at the rear of the restaurant. Your nachos arrive in a wagon, complete with a processional of the restaurant's staff. Once eating is complete, diners are treated to a certificate, cowboy hats and sheriff's badges.

Disney told ABC News the nachos are meant to serve eight to 10 people.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.

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Tim Boyle/Getty Images(GOSHEN, Ind.) -- Ray and Wilma Yoder of Goshen, Indiana, are on a quest to make Cracker Barrel history.

The couple, married for 60 years, are just one visit away from visiting all 645 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations in 44 states across the U.S.

“I’ve not had a bad experience anytime,” Ray Yoder, 80, told ABC News. “I’ve always walked away feeling refreshed.”

Yoder began stopping at Cracker Barrel restaurants in the 1960s as he made his way across the U.S. as an RV driver.

“They were always along the main interstate, so you’d have to have your eyes closed to miss them,” he said of the Cracker Barrel chain, known for its omnipresent locations marked by tall signs that dot highways across the country.

He added, “It’s nice when you’re out there driving that there’s a place that can be so much like home when you’re away from home.”

Wilma Yoder, 81, would join her husband on the cross-country trips and, after many years, the parents of four children realized they were onto something.

“I didn’t keep much records then because I didn’t ever think we’d do what we do,” Ray Yoder said. “Then we began to take it quite seriously and said, ‘Let’s see if we can do them all.’ ”

The Yoders kept track of their visits by taking a map from each restaurant and circling where they had been. As technology progressed, they relied on their children to keep them informed of new store openings posted on Cracker Barrel’s website.

Ray Yoder recalled he and his wife once stopped at around 10 Cracker Barrel restaurants in one day on a drive from Orlando to Canada in order to catch up on restaurants along the East Coast.

"We don’t drive in the parking lot and say, 'Now we’re here,' " he said, adding, "We’re not rich, but we’ll buy a coffee to go or a little bit of candy."

As they crossed Cracker Barrel restaurants off their list, the Yoders became Cracker Barrel celebrities. They are treated as VIPs at restaurant openings and get asked for photos when they stop to dine on their favorite meals: meatloaf and blueberry pancakes.

“We’re incredibly proud to be a part of the Yoders’ quest to visit all of our locations, which they began 40 years ago,” Janelle Escobar, the chain’s director of corporate communications, told ABC News. “We think of Cracker Barrel as a ‘home away from home’ for our guests, and the Yoders are certainly a part of our family.”

She continued, “Many years ago, we began inviting them to our ribbon cutting ceremonies as we open new locations to help them on their journey. We look forward to seeing them and helping them complete their mission of visiting every Cracker Barrel in the nation.”

The couple plans to visit Portland, Oregon, later this year to eat at the last Cracker Barrel on their list, until the next location opens. Then they will visit that restaurant too.

“For two old people, we’re pretty fast-moving,” Ray Yoder said. “We’re still healthy and we enjoy it, so we keep doing it.”

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@Microsoft/Twitter(REDMOND, Wash.) -- Microsoft said it would keep developing its Paint program on Monday amid fears that the 32-year-old application might be killed off in the next Windows 10 update.

Last week, the tech firm placed Paint on a list of "deprecated" applications, meaning it was no longer "in active development and might be removed” from future versions of its flagship Windows 10 operating system.

Fans of the iconic app were outraged and took to social media to voice their anguish.

Microsoft Paint: Here to stay

— Microsoft (@Microsoft) July 25, 2017

But Microsoft downplayed the concerns in a statement late Monday, noting that the component would not be removed completely.

"Today, we've seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there's anything we learned, it's that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans," Megan Saunders, Microsoft’s general manager of the 3D for Everyone initiative, wrote in a blog post Monday. “It's been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app.”

The company said Paint will no longer be a default part of Windows going forward, but it will make it available for free on its app store.

But that means some office workers might have to go through their system administrators gain access to the app.

"Amidst today's commentary around MS Paint we wanted to take this opportunity to set the record straight, clear up some confusion and share some good news," Saunders wrote. "MS Paint is here to stay, it will just have a new home soon, in the Windows Store where it will be available for free."

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@annefulenwider/Instagram(NEW YORK) -- It was 2011, and Anne Fulenwider was at a crossroads. After spending years editing glossy periodicals, she had landed a dream job. It was something she had wanted since running her high school newspaper: to be a top magazine editor.

“I got this call from Conde Nast saying we have an editor-in-chief job open. We're not telling you what it is, but come and talk to us,” Fulenwider reminisces on an episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis.”

Her moment had arrived, after years climbing the publishing ladder in editorial roles. That job was to be editor-in-chief of Brides magazine -- which was an unexpected topic, she says, but also a great place to learn and gain experience.

“When they finally let me know what it was I thought, ‘Huh, well that's not what I thought it was going to be but this is certainly a subject matter that ... I'm not intimidated by… and it might be a really great way to learn how to be an editor-in-chief,” Fulenwider tells ABC’s Chief Business, Economics and Technology correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis on “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis.”

Fulenwider accepted the position, and soon began to learn the skills that went into running a magazine outside of just the editorial, while also utilizing her previous experience as an executive editor of Marie Claire and as a senior articles editor at Vanity Fair.

But it wasn’t long before a different window of opportunity opened, and about nine months into her new editor-in-chief gig, the phone rang again.

“It was a really, really intense nine months, and I felt like I was just getting the hang of it. And I got this call from Hearst, and they said listen there’s going to be opening at the top of Marie Claire,” she says

It’s not exactly a terrible predicament to be in, but for Fulenwider, it was one of those career-defining decisions that would affect the trajectory of her professional future. This was not a choice to be made lightly, she says, and she describes this moment as the “toughest career decision” she’s had to make.

“The timing was terrible. I had been editor-in-chief of Brides for nine months, not even... And I had put in huge changes, we hired a whole bunch of people... in fact I actually said no the first time that they asked me... I said that there's no way I can leave this job. I just got here. I've just engaged all these people to come on board for this mission and I certainly didn't want to leave the company in the lurch,” she recalls.

Fulenwider ultimately turned down the Marie Claire offer the first time around, she says, but after doing some soul searching and consulting those closest to her, she began to reconsider the opportunity.

“I thought to myself, ‘how am I going to feel when they announce the person who got the job?’... my heart would sink... I just thought, ‘I can't sit there on that day of that announcement and not have it be me,’” Fulenwider mused on “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis.”

She called back Hearst, and told the team members there that if they still wanted her, then she did in fact really want the job.

“I think they said, well come on and we'll have another conversation. I think there was one more person for me to meet, because I hadn't gotten that far in the interview process when I declined… But generally I was sort of like, close your eyes and jump,” she said.

About nine months after accepting her job at Brides, she listened to her gut and took a leap, accepting the job as the top editor job at Marie Claire. Since taking over, she has taken the magazine to new heights, with initiatives like the “Image Makers Awards,” “Fresh Faces,” “Power Trip” and most recently the magazine’s first ever sustainability issue, which is on stands now, featuring Jessica Biel on the cover.

After reflecting on the toughest career decision she’s made, Fulenwider also recognized an important lesson that she learned on her way.

“The timing is almost always wrong,” she said. “To have kids, to go on vacation, to make a huge change in your life... so sometimes you just have to leap. And so [taking the job] was definitely the hardest decision and the best decision I've ever made.”

Hear Anne Fulenwider’s full interview on ABC Radio’s top business podcast “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify and your ABC News app.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- Some workers at a company in Wisconsin will soon be getting microchips in order to enter the office, log into computers and even buy a snack or two with just a swipe of the hand.

Todd Westby, the CEO of tech company Three Square Market, told ABC News Monday that of the 80 employees at the company's River Falls headquarters, more than 50 had agreed to get implants. Westby said, however, that participation was not required.

The microchip uses RFID -- radio frequency identification -- technology and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004. It is the size of a grain of rice and will be placed between the thumb and forefinger.

Westby said that when his team was initially approached with the idea, there was some reluctance mixed with excitement.

But, after more details were released and conversations were had, the majority of managers were on board and opted to partner with BioHax International to get the microchips.

Westby said the chip is not a GPS, does not allow for tracking workers and does not require passwords.

"There's really nothing to hack in it because it is encrypted just like credit cards are. ... The chances of hacking into it are almost nonexistent because it's not connected to the internet," he said. "The only way for somebody to get connectivity to it is to basically chop off your hand."

Three Square Market is footing the bill for the microchips, which cost $300 each, and licensed piercers will be handling the implantations on Aug. 1. Westby also said that if workers change their minds, the microchip can be removed as if taking out a splinter.

He said his wife, young adult children and others would also be getting the microchip next week.

Critics on Monday warned that there could be dangers in how the company planned to store, use and protect workers' information.

Adam Levin, chairman and founder of CyberScout, which provides identity protection and data risk services, said he would not put a microchip in his body.

"Many things start off with the best of intentions but sometimes intentions turn," Levin said. "We've survived thousands of years as a species without being microchipped, is there any particular need to do it now? ... Everyone has a decision to make; that is, how much privacy and security are they willing to trade for convenience?"

Jowan Osterlund of BioHax, which is partnering with Three Square Market, said implanting people was the next step for electronics.

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Courtesy Teresa Danks(CLAREMORE, Okla.) -- An Oklahoma teacher frustrated by having to dig into her own pocket to pay for classroom supplies took to panhandling to get her point across.

Teresa Danks, 50, of Claremore, Oklahoma, has spent the summer shopping at garage sales and thrift stores to stock her third-grade classroom with supplies for next year. A conversation with her husband last week about the money she was spending on her classroom sparked a bigger idea.

“My husband and I were just talking that morning and he kind of jokingly said, ‘You could always make a sign and go on the corner like the panhandlers,’” Danks, a classroom teacher for the past 12 years, told ABC News. “I said, ‘You know what? I think I’m going to do that. That’s a great idea.’”

Danks, a teacher for Tulsa Public Schools, wrote on a poster board, “Teacher Needs School Supplies! Anything Helps.” She held the sign for about 10 minutes at a busy intersection and, despite her nerves, was shocked by the positive response.

“It just felt so scary,” she said of the moment. “But it was a wonderful feeling to hear people being so supportive of teachers.”

She added, “The one that choked me up the most was a girl in her 20s who said, ‘Teachers like you are the reason I’m alive today.’”

Danks -- who said she makes an annual salary of around $35,000 and spends nearly $2,000 of her own money each year on her classroom -- collected around $50 in cash. She posted a photo of herself on Facebook that went viral and drew the attention of a local news station.

When she went back out with her sign later that day with news cameras in tow, Danks, who described her elementary school students as mostly low-income, collected another $50.

“What started just for me to get supplies in my classroom and help my students has really grown much greater than myself,” said Danks, who has since started a GoFundMe page and a Facebook page titled “Begging for Education.”

Oklahoma has faced education budget cuts that even the Tulsa Public Schools superintendent, Deborah Gist, acknowledges. The cuts have forced some teachers to search for jobs elsewhere, she said.

“There are a lot of things we do to mitigate the costs [for teachers] but unfortunately it’s tough everywhere and it’s tough in Oklahoma especially,” Gist told ABC News. “I actually left the state about 30 years ago to teach in Texas for the same reason that many teachers leave Oklahoma to teach in other states now.”

She added, “What we’re trying to do is to make sure the awesome people who make the commitment to stay are having a wonderful experience. Of course we need to pay them more, but we also need to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to be successful.”

Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said teachers across the U.S. anecdotally spend around $450 of their personal money each year on school supplies. Teachers in Oklahoma, however, spend "on the higher side" of that average, she said.

"It should shock and sadden us all that it has come down to a teacher having to go out on a street corner and ask for money so that the students in the classroom get what they need to succeed, but more power to her," said Priest, whose organization is Oklahoma's "largest professional organization for education professionals," according to its website. "Teachers have always bought supplies that they wanted to decorate their rooms but in Oklahoma within the last five years, with the funding cuts that we’ve taken, its things like textbooks and library books and graphing calculators."

Danks said the school supplies she pays for on her own include classroom staples like disinfectant wipes but also the extra items that will allow for hands-on projects and “excellence” in her classroom.

“If I’m doing something on the solar system, I’m wanting to build rocket ships with paper towel tubes or make planets with Styrofoam balls,” Danks said. “When you multiply that by 20 to 30 kids it gets expensive.”

Last year, Tulsa residents contributed to a multi-million dollar campaign that resulted in $279 given to each teacher for supplies, according to Gist, who applauds Danks’ efforts.

“I think what our teacher has done here is to [speak out] in a way that not only helps her with extra money for her classroom but makes a point,” Gist said. “She is getting to a really serious need and I think that’s a pretty smart thing to do.”

Danks describes being a teacher as “literally walking on a stage and performing all day” and said that requires “a lot of supplies.”

While she wants her message of better funding to ultimately reach legislators across the country, Danks hopes people will stop and think locally about what they can do to help teachers.

“What I hope they take away is that the education of our children is important to our future so it needs to be important to everyone,” she said. “I would say go to your local schools and find out what they need.”

She continued, “It could be as simple as getting them a bean bag chair or a border for their bulletin boards, but we need the community to help us step up and educate our children because they are our future leaders.”

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Luke & Mallory Photography(LOS ANGELES) -- One Los Angeles couple decided to ditch the traditional wedding cake at their nuptials. Instead, they chose a customized wedding piñata cake.

Karen Chan and Clayton Lee tied the knot May 13 in front of approximately 180 guests at La Chureya, a luxury villa in Palm Springs, California. The couple, who got engaged on Christmas Day in 2014 after meeting on a study abroad trip to Shanghai, China, 10 years before, aren't "big on cake," they told ABC News.

"I'd rather have dessert than cake," Chan, 34, who is also a food blogger at Honestly Yum, said.

Lee, 35, added, "It was also an act of semi-rebellion against traditions. We just wanted to do our own thing."

So the two commissioned a local shop called Amazing Piñatas to create a customized wedding cake-shaped piñata.

"I gave them a photo of a cake I probably would've gotten made and they turned it into a piñata," Chan said.

The couple even had traditional cake toppers on their piñata, "but they customized it to look like us," the bride added.

Although it took a while for the piñata to pop -- Lee even had to "tackle it a couple times," he said -- the guests were glad when what was inside was finally revealed.

"We filled it with party toys and snacks, traditional Mexican treats, bubble blowers, party poppers, and of course, little bottles of booze-filled chocolates for the adults," Chan wrote on her food blog.

After their nuptials, the two trekked to the Maldives and Sri Lanka for their honeymoon. They're now looking forward to life as a married couple.

"We just want to continue to enjoy our time together," Lee said, "and plan our next trip and our next adventure."

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