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Gates Foundation

10 years ago, the Chinese village of Ci Fu was hurtin'.

A very poor area with bad roads, no medical care, and not a single computer — it was the perfect recipe for a bad situation in Ci Fu, a village that nearly 2,000 people call home.


Hello, Ci Fu. Images by D J Clark.

Qin Zanchun moved there for a reason.

A struggling village doesn't seem like the #1 pick for a recent graduate, but it's where Qin decided she needed to go.

Hello, Qin Zanchun.

As explained in a beautiful video by D J Clark, Qin and the people of Ci Fu had something in common.

Like many in the village, Qin grew up in poor health and was constantly sick as a kid. She knows the struggle.

So she did something about it. She went to medical school, got her degree, and instead of taking a job in an established area with money to follow, she showed up in Ci Fu.

She became the village's only doctor.

It wasn't a glamorous life, you can say that much. She walked long distances on terrible roads every day to care for the villagers — many of them elderly. Her salary for one month was just 30 yuan, about $4.83 ... for an entire month!

But she stuck with it and kept going because it was important to her.

    10 years later, Ci Fu is a much different place.

    A much-improved place! The village now has concrete roads that connect it to more places, rural health insurance, and computers. And it's a healthier community overall. Dr. Qin has a new health center too (and is definitely getting paid more).

    It's a heartwarming tale of helping those in need in a place that surely would have continued to struggle. You can't make progress if you're not healthy.

    Go, Dr. Qin!

    All images provided by Bombas

    We can all be part of the giving movement

    True

    We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

    Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

    A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

    homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

    When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

    Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

    Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

    beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

    Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

    step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

    Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

    step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

    The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

    Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

    You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

    via UNSW

    This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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    14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

    Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

    Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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    When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

    Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

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