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Last August, a riot broke out in Chemnitz, Germany after over 7,000 people from far-right groups took to the streets to protest the death of a Cuban-German man killed by two Kurdish immigrants.

During the riot, right-wing protestors chased down immigrants while making Nazi salutes and at least 20 people were injured.

“They created this atmosphere of fear among the citizens there,” Philipp Ruch, the artistic director, of Center for Political Beauty, told The Daily Beast. “They menaced foreigners, and also the press… They hunted people. The whole country was in shock.”


The Center for Political Beauty, abbreviated as ZBS in German, is a left-wing art collective and artist hub. In the past, it has organized public awareness campaigns such as building a Holocaust memorial on a right-wing leader’s home and coordinating funerals for migrants who died on the way to Germany.

In the riot’s aftermath, ZPS got to work identifying nearly 1,500 of the right-wing protesters. But the art collective wanted more, so they set up a scheme to find more neo-Nazis and far right-wing groups behind the riots.

[rebelmouse-image 19479379 dam="1" original_size="1200x624" caption="via Umbra 101/Flickr" expand=1]via Umbra 101/Flickr

ZPS set up a website featuring photos of 1,500 protesters it had identified. Many of the protesters, for fear they had been identified, logged on to see if their photos were on the site. But the website only showed 20 pictures per web page. So, to save time, site visitors entered their names or people they knew who were at the protest in a search bar.

ZPS collected all of the names entered in the search and were able to identify at least 25 rioters it hadn't previously. “What we got was quite a network of who knows who, and who else was in Chemnitz,” Ruch said.

If there’s one thing we can count on it is Nazis acting dumb. ZBS knew that and let them play right into their hands.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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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.

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