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They didn't expect it, but Mark and Andrew's marriage proposal pics have made a big splash in Australia.

They're in the first wave of couples who have decided to tie the knot in the wake of Australia's vote on marriage equality. The way Mark went about pulling off his proposal to Andrew, however, stands out from the rest in a pretty adorable fashion.

Mark (left) and his now-fiancé, Andrew. Photo courtesy of Mark Keevers.


The day after Australia's same-sex marriage survey results were announced, Andrew had a water polo match with his team, the Melbourne Surge. When the game ended, Mark approached Andrew poolside and wrapped him in a big rainbow towel as one of the couple's favorite songs, Jess Glynn’s "Hold My Hand," began playing.

"We wake up to that song every day," Mark told the Star Observer. "Wherever we go we always hold hands because we both love each other, and we’re proud of that."

Then, the couple's loved ones — who were waiting in the stands — began pulling out large photographs of Mark and Andrew.

Photo courtesy of Mark Keevers.

And Andrew's teammates unveiled the cheekiest part of the proposal: swimsuit bottoms that spelled out "Marry me?"

Photo courtesy of Mark Keevers.

"Waterpolo is [Andrew's] life, and the mates that play are his pseudo-family considering his immediate family live in New Zealand," Mark says. "I knew I had to involve them."

That's when Mark got down on one knee and asked the big question.

Andrew, as the delightful photos suggest, said "yes."

Photo courtesy of Mark Keevers.

The charming proposal has gone global in large part because of its timing.

While Mark and Andrew knew they wanted to get hitched — and they technically could have in Andrew's home country of New Zealand, where marriage equality has existed legally since 2013 — the proposal was particularly special having happened on Nov. 16, 2017, in Australia, the day after the country voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality in a mail-in survey.

The vote itself doesn't legalize same-sex marriage, but the results pave the way; Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said a parliamentary vote should decide the matter by Christmas.

"We both shed a tear during the marriage equality announcement as it was such a relief that we all can, pending the government's commitment to legislating change, now marry the person we love," Mark says.

He understands their engagement doesn't just mark a personal moment of love; it reflects a larger societal shift that's worth celebrating: "We're more than happy for the attention if it helps tell the story of Australia's acceptance and validation of marriage equality." ❤️

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.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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