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search and rescue, nonverbal teen lost, project lifeline

Rescue teams near Los Angeles search for a lost teen.

A 16-year-old developmentally disabled teen went on a hike with his mother and sister in the mountains near Los Angeles on the morning of Sunday, April 3 when he ran off into the trees and disappeared. The family called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department for help, but after six hours they still couldn’t find him.

The situation was stressful because the teen is nonverbal and couldn’t call out for help or reveal his location. His family had no idea whether he was injured or how far he had gone into the forest.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department brought together the Montrose Search and Rescue Team, Glendale and Burbank police, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team and the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team to help in the search. They didn’t have much to go on but the boy's mother told Montrose Search and Rescue Deputy Steve Goldsworthy that he had an affection for rocks. “He will go out of his way to kick a rock, pick up a rock, throw a rock," Goldsworthy said.

“Several hours into the search, a Montrose team member heard what sounded like the clinking of rocks together,” the Montrose Search and Rescue Team wrote on Facebook. “Remembering that the missing person had an interest in playing with rocks, he investigated further. He also directed the Burbank PD airship to look down the canyon.”


“I could hear the rocks hit, and a slight echo. I could hear that three different times,” Goldsworthy said.

The search and rescue team found the boy 400 feet over the side of a fire road.

“Our team member went down the mountainside and made contact with the missing person,” the search and rescue team said. The wonderful thing was that the team knew he had developmental issues and approached him with care.

“Recognizing the sensitivity of the situation, he worked to build a rapport with the teenager. After gaining the trust of the missing person, he led him up the mountain to safety. Once at the top, he was treated by paramedics and released to his family,” the search and rescue team wrote.

When they first encountered the boy he was sitting beneath an oak tree.

After the rescuers gained the boy's trust, they were able to walk him up the hill, have him looked over by paramedics and reunite him with his family. “Our Department was thrilled this incident had a happy ending,” the Sheriff’s department wrote.

The Montrose Search and Rescue Team used the situation to promote a program that provides peace of mind for people with developmental disabilities and those who care for them. “If you have a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Autism, or other cognitive disorders, consider applying for Project Lifesaver,” the team wrote on Facebook.

People enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small transmitter on their wrist or ankle that emits an individualized frequency signal. If they go missing, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area.

The program is a nonprofit that combines tracking technology that, in partnership with local police, fire and rescue teams, can quickly locate people who have wandered from their homes and families.

Learn more about Project Lifesaver here.

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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