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A casual, candid chat with the Bidens on their morning walk is moving people to tears

This morning, Joe and Jill Biden went out for a walk with their dogs, Champ and Major, to check out the surprise the first lady had installed overnight for Valentine's Day weekend. The White House lawn has been decorated with oversized hearts that have positive words like LOVE, GRATITUDE, COMPASSION, and FAMILY on them. The one that says HEALING is signed "Love, Jill."

As they walked along with coffee cups in hand, the first couple was met by a few members of the press. The conversation that they had has gone viral—not so much because of how extraordinary it was, but rather the opposite. It was delightfully ordinary, filled with normalcy, decency, and even a random act of kindness for good measure. And the simple goodness of it all is moving people to tears.


First, a reporter asked Dr. Biden what inspired her to have the display made, and she said, "I just wanted some joy. With the pandemic, just, everybody's feeling a little down. So it's just a little joy. A little hope. That's all."

President Biden told reporters that Valentine's Day is Jill's favorite holiday and shared how she painted "Joe loves Jill" on his White House office windows when he was vice president. Then he talked about an interview he'd done with journalist Juju Chang in which she asked about Jill and Joe's "great love affair," and how he said that he loved Jill more than she loved him.

Asked how he would extend that love story to the American people who are feeling so down, Biden replied, "Tell them there is hope," he said. "There's hope. They just have to stay strong. A lot of people have gone through unbearable suffering. They've lost their families—lost their children, lost their husbands, wives, moms, dads—and it's almost unbearable. The one thing I can say to them is they're still in your heart...they really are."

The president speaks from personal experience, having lost his first wife and baby daughter in a car accident shortly after he was first elected to the Senate, and then losing his oldest son to brain cancer in 2015.

Following that serious moment, the first couple and the reporter chatted a bit more, with the reporter joking about bringing coffee for everyone. After talking about the couple's German Shepherds—Champ, who is 14 years old, and Major, who is a young rescue dog—President Biden walked over and handed his cup of coffee to the reporter, promising that he hadn't drunk out of it yet.

Looking through comments on the video, that act of kindness moved many people to tears. In fact, the whole video had people way up in their feelings, with some people saying that the decency and normalcy were "overwhelming" after the past four years.







It shouldn't be overwhelming to see a loving first couple out for a walk with their dogs, sharing coffee and chatting with people, but it is. Some people commented that they feel like they've just gotten out of an abusive relationship (and indeed, there are many analyses that point out the similarities between what America experienced the past four years with the dynamics of an abusive relationship), so this normalcy and decency is refreshing, if perhaps a bit jarring. It's going to take time to adjust to not feeling traumatized every time the president talks to a reporter.

The word HEALING on the heart behind Biden as he chats with a reporter feels rather fitting, considering the reactions to this clip. Who knew how truly healing a pair of jeans, a pair of dogs, and a simple gift of a cup of coffee could feel?

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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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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