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Education

American mom living in Germany dispels myths about living overseas

Living abroad is something that many folks dream of, even if only for a brief period of time.

American mom living in Germany dispels myths about living overseas

Platz der Republik, Berlin, Germany.

Living abroad is something that many folks dream of, even if only for a brief period of time. There are college programs specifically for people who want to study abroad to gain worldly experience, but some people want to live in other countries for reasons other than studying and actually make the leap. In America we’re taught from a fairly young age that America is the best country in the world, and everyone wants to live here, but some people who have lived in other countries are challenging that notion. Aly is a mom who emigrated to Germany nearly three years ago after giving up her job as a professor only months away from making tenure, and she has no regrets.

Aly runs the TikTok account USA Mom in Germany where she educates her followers on some of the major differences between living in the U.S. and living in Germany. She explains in one video how in America she experienced homelessness and food insecurity as a single mother, and makes TikToks to “combat U.S. propaganda.” She goes on to say in the video that “the only way that things are going to change in the U.S. is if people understand that there are different countries, governments, and social systems that work better.”


In her videos she answers questions asked by followers, but also addresses other comparisons, such as the difference in the cost of daycare. In a video that has more than 180,000 likes, she shares the bill she received from her daughter’s daycare, which shows the breakdown for the year. Aly doesn’t talk in the video, but her comment section is filled with shocked reactions at the realization that she only pays $1,856 a year for childcare. One commenter said “not me thinking this was monthly and it sounding right,” complete with an uncomfortably smiling sweat bead emoji. People were in disbelief that her childcare broke down to less than $160 a month, with another person who lives in Germany stating they still felt like the cost Aly pays is too high.

Even baby formula costs a vastly different amount between the two countries. The mom shows a box of formula that in the United States would generally cost about $25, but in Germany the same amount of formula of the best brand you can buy costs the equivalent of $6. Aly doesn’t stop at baby stuff and cost comparisons, she even combats the difference in history being taught in both countries, and shares that German students in grades 11 through 13 learn about current U.S. propaganda that includes U.S. exceptionalism and the American dream, according to excerpts shared by the former professor. The book “The American Dream in the 21st Century: Continuity and Change” by Peter Bruck is the textbook used to teach these high schoolers about the U.S. and, according to Aly, if you search the name of the book with the word “arbitur” behind it, worksheets and study guides will pop up.

@usa.mom.in.germany

USA 🇺🇸 propaganda in Germany 🇩🇪 #livingingermany #germanyvsusa #teachersoftiktok #americandream

Learning how the U.S. is viewed from the outside is an interesting journey, and Aly makes it her mission to not only dispel the narrative that she believed when moving to Germany, but the beliefs of her followers. The mom of three is currently studying German, and has no plans to return to the United States due to many of the reasons she outlines in her videos, including not having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to send her children to college and feelings of safety while her children are in school. Aly doesn’t paint the U.S. as all bad, but for her, the benefits of living abroad outweigh those of her experience of living in America.

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.

Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Grab your boost of serotonin here.

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Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Holy moly—it's fall, y'all!

As pumpkin spice swoops in and we start unpacking our cozy sweaters and cute boots, we can practically taste the seasonal change in the air. Fall is filled with so many small joys—the fresh, crisp smell of apples, the beauty of the leaves as they shift from greens to yellows, oranges and reds, the way the world gets wrapped in a warm glow even as the air grows cooler.

Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

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via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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