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Last Saturday night, 13-year-old Jagger Lavely took the stage at a middle school talent show to sing "Let It Go" from the movie "Frozen."

Jagger, who has autism, doesn't attend Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. But since his school for kids with autism is out of town, he was allowed to participate in their annual "Oak's Got Talent" event.

He put on his Olaf costume (excellent choice, Jagger) and took to the stage.


Image via ABCNews/YouTube.

"And the fears that once controlled me / Can't get to me at all!"

The lights went up and Jagger began to sing. He got through the first verse OK, but then ... well.

"Things kind of fell apart a little bit," his mother, Stacey Lavely, told WCVB-5.

GIF via ABCNews/YouTube.

Appearing visibly nervous, Jagger grew quiet at the start of the second verse. But what could've quickly turned into a mortifying moment became a heartwarming show of support.

"It's time to see what I can do / To test the limits and break through"

Seeing their peer stumble, the students at Oaks Middle School sang with Jagger, loud and proud. They even clapped along.

"It just kind of became this spiritual experience," Jagger's mom said.

Me too, Kristoff. Me too. GIF from "Frozen."

"Let it go, let it go / And I'll rise like the break of dawn"

With encouragement from the audience, Jagger was able to finish his performance and received raucous applause.

It probably looked a little something like this. GIF from "Frozen."

The students didn't know Jagger well, but that didn't matter. He was someone in need of a hand, (or in this case, a few back-up singers), and they were quick to help out.

"Here I stand / And here I'll stay"

Jagger is just one of the more than 1 million children in the U.S. with autism. About 1 in 68 kids have an autism spectrum disorder. It cuts across racial, geographic, and socioeconomic lines and can manifest in a variety of ways.

But behind every number, statistic, or new case is a child and a family working through the implications of their particular diagnosis. For many of these families, the future contains a lot of unknowns.

A teacher works with a child with autism. Photo by Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images.

But moments like this can remind them (and all of us) that you don't have to look far to find kind and empathetic people. They're everywhere you look, even in middle school auditoriums.

So sing out, Jagger! Wherever you are, someone will always have your back.

See Jagger's star-powered performance in this clip from ABC News.

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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