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A Republican office was attacked. Here's how Democrats helped in response.

People across the political spectrum condemned the attack.

A Republican Party outpost in Orange County, North Carolina, was firebombed over the weekend. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

An already tense election season took a turn for the worse as pictures emerged showing the charred aftermath of what some were quick to label an act of political terrorism.

While it's unclear who carried out the attack, it was quickly condemned by people from across the political spectrum.

Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offered short statements via their Twitter accounts on Sunday afternoon.


Trump's chosen rhetoric, assigning blame to Clinton and North Carolina Democrats, didn't seem to bode well for anyone hoping for a calm, level-headed investigation into the attack.

A few short hours later, a group of Democrats did something many would have considered unthinkable just a day earlier: They gave money to the Republican Party.

Led by David Weinberger, a senior researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, a small group of Democrats launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the Republicans rebuild and reopen the office. Within hours, they raised more than $13,000 from 550 donors.

"As Democrats, we are starting this campaign to enable the Orange County, North Carolina Republican office to re-open as soon as possible," reads a statement on the GoFundMe page. "Until an investigation is undertaken, we cannot know who did this or why. No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences."

Helping the GOP reopen its Orange County office seems like a noble thing to do, but not all Democrats agreed with the decision.

Some pointed to the fact that there's still no way to know who carried out the attack or what their political leanings are — as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo notes, situations that look like politically-motivated attacks aren't always what they seem. Others noted the fact that any damage to the office would likely be covered by insurance.

Photo by Jonathan Drew/AP.

The attack was wrong — that is something we can all agree on. Giving money to the Republican party in North Carolina, however? The same party that tried to enact a voter ID law designed to disenfranchise people of color? The same party that pushed through virulently anti-LGBTQ legislation? To some Democrats, that didn't make sense.

Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images.

A list of North Carolina organizations in desperate need of funding quickly popped up on social media for people in search of a good cause to donate to instead of (or in addition to) the GOP.

Among organizations listed were relief funds set up to help the people of Fair Bluff and Lumberton, still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Others recommended the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, LGBTQ legal organization Lambda Legal, a University of North Carolina scholarship fund set up in honor of Muslim students killed in a hate crime last year, North Carolina Justice Center's Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Equality NC, the ACLU of North Carolina, the Carolina Justice Policy Center, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Southerners on New Ground, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

A man in Lumberton, North Carolina, walks down a flooded street in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

The response to the attack — whether or not donating money to the North Carolina Republican Party is the morally right response — is one on which reasonable people disagree, and that's OK.

In the end, nobody got hurt, the GOP office has funds to reopen, and hopefully, some money that wouldn't have otherwise been donated made its way to a few important charitable causes.

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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