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Hum by Verizon

For anyone diagnosed with a serious illness, support from friends and family is crucial. For Alan Cohen, extra support came from a surprising place: his car.

Alan was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer in April 2017. "It was a shock," he says. "I don't drink. I don't smoke. I eat very healthy."

Image via Alan Cohen, used with permission.


Despite having done everything right, he suddenly found himself dealing with doctor's visits, prescription pickups, and the daily stress and anxiety of having a serious disease — all in addition to the appointments and commitments of his regular life.

"You fight it every day," says Alan. "Every day is a fight to live."

Alan's particular treatment is, luckily, 95% effective in curing his type of cancer. But that doesn't mean his days don't include struggle. He's still a dad, a medical professional, and a person with tons of things to juggle in addition to keeping up with his medical treatment. He has to remember to take his medications and make time for bloodwork in addition to everything on his already-full plate.

Image via iStock.

For Alan, a bit of relief came in the form of Hum by Verizon, which keeps him connected to his car.

Alan is already dealing with enough stress — he doesn't have time for the strain of unexpected car troubles, such as his car not starting or a flat tire. Hum has features that remind him to keep his car well-maintained — he sets reminders for things like oil changes and tire rotations — helping prevent him from winding up stranded on his way to important doctor appointments.

"It told me my battery was low, and I hadn't realized that," he says. "Of course, I was on my way to work, and that's when it popped up. But I made it back home and had my battery changed the next day. It helped prevent me from running late to other appointments and whatnot. That helped a lot."

Image by Verizon.

Alan has enjoyed his Hum so much, he even reached out directly to Verizon to let them know:

"Just got the Hum and it's worth every penny. I'm hard of hearing so the Bluetooth is awesome, works really well. I like you can press for help and the police and fire dept. can locate you. Haven't needed to use that as of yet. I feel very comfortable using it and I like the car health reports it sends me."

We've all had days where it seems like everything that can go wrong, will.

When you're already dealing with something serious and long-lasting, every minor inconvenience can feel like the universe is really piling it on. Even though car troubles aren't the greatest of Alan's concerns, knowing they won't crop up to make a difficult day worse grants him a little bit of valuable peace of mind.

More seriously, his car's connectivity also eliminates his concern that he'll have a health issue while he's alone and unable to get help.

"I feel really, really confident that if anything happens, I'll be able to use the Hum's emergency button," he says.

Rather than being continually fearful of being by himself, Alan is able to continue his life feeling independent and secure.

It's easy for smaller stresses to take a backseat when we're dealing with something huge — but it's the avoidable worries that are the easiest to prevent.

Hum is another example of how innovations can help people free up the time and energy they need to deal with life's bigger challenges, by handing the smaller ones over to technology.

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.

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