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AnnaRose Rubright is a 19-year-old college student in New Jersey. She works part-time, has five younger sisters...

...and is the star of a new viral PSA in honor of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, 2016.


GIF via CoorDown/YouTube.

The PSA is tugging at the Internet's heartstrings with a simple yet powerful message.

Produced by Italian advocacy group CoorDown and ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, Rubright narrates as the video follows a woman living out her everyday life — laughing with friends, working as a chef in a restaurant, watching TV, singing karaoke.

You might recognize this woman (the other star in the message) as actor Olivia Wilde.




GIF via CoorDown/YouTube.

Rubright narrates the PSA as viewers watch Wilde's character experience happiness, sadness, laughter, and heartache — the emotions that make us human.

“This is how I see myself," Rubright, who has Down syndrome, says in the voice over. "I see myself as a daughter, a sister, and a best friend. As a person you can rely on."

"I see myself meeting someone that I can share my life with. I see myself singing, dancing, and laughing until I cannot breathe, and also crying sometimes. I see myself following my dreams, even if they are impossible — especially because they’re impossible. I see myself as an ordinary person with an important, meaningful, beautiful life. This is how I see myself. How do you see me?"

At the end of the video, it's revealed that Wilde's character is living out Rubright's actual life, with all the ups, downs, and meaningful moments that come with it.

"This metaphor is aimed to ignite a conversation around how those living with Down syndrome see themselves and how they are sometimes disadvantaged when people pre-judge them based on their condition," Saatchi & Saatchi explains on its website, noting the video aims to promote inclusion. "Even more than what is said about them, the way other people look at them is a common indicator of this type of prejudice."

While much of the reaction to the video has been positive, some have pointed out problems in the way the video addresses the issue.

Writer David Perry pointed out in a post for The Establishment that while "the people involved with the film are clearly well-intentioned in their desire to fight anti-disability stigma," the PSA implies that disability is something that should be invisible — an argument many activists would say is problematic.

"The broader disability rights movement has worked long and hard to promote disability as an identity and an aspect of diversity to celebrate," Perry wrote — not as something about a person we should be fighting to erase.

He spoke with advocates that supported this idea and took to Twitter to point out their perspectives:


While advocates may disagree on the PSA's approach, it's great that the video has directed attention to an important day and utilized the talents of a remarkable person to do it.

Beyond her other accomplishments, Rubright is a Special Olympics athlete and a leader of the grassroots group the Anna Foundation for Inclusive Education, which her family launched while she was entering kindergarten. The nonprofit focuses on helping those with Down syndrome find success — whether it be academically, socially, or as leaders in their communities.

To learn more about the Anna Foundation for Inclusive Education, check out the group's website.

Watch the PSA by CoorDown below:

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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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?

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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

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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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