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Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers each pledged $1 million to charity.

The San Francisco 49ers pledged $1 million toward fighting racial inequality.

In August, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the subject of both praise and scorn for protesting racial injustice and police violence when he sat while the national anthem played before his team's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Kaepernick during Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

The following week, after a discussion with former Green Beret Nat Boyer, Kaepernick took a knee while the anthem played. (Boyer suggested that it might be more respectful, and Kaepernick agreed.)

My Brother! United as One! @e_reid35


A photo posted by colin kaepernick (@kaepernick7) on

Though sometimes framed as a "flag protest" or swipe at the U.S. military, that's hardly the case. Kaepernick has been clear about what he wants: a better America, one that lives up to the ideals that the flag is supposed to represent.

On Sept. 8th, the 49ers threw its support behind the quarterback in a big way — with a donation.

49ers CEO Jed York issued a statement saying that the 49ers Foundation, the team's charitable arm, will contribute $1 million to "the cause of improving racial and economic inequality and fostering communication and collaboration between law enforcement and the communities they serve here in the Bay Area."

The money will be going to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco foundation.

This comes in addition to Kaepernick's personal pledge to donate $1 million of his 2016 salary to help underserved communities.

Some of the early criticism of Kaepernick's protest was that, as a multimillionaire, he either shouldn't be able to criticize anything in America (which is ridiculous) or that he should be using his wealth to make a difference off the field.

Seems critics forgot that he could both continue his silent protest and use his financial resources to improve the lives of others.

Kaepernick greets fans after a game against the Chargers. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

Some continue to argue that this isn't the "right" way to go about protesting injustice or that's it's somehow not effective. The story that's followed, however, has shown just how wrong they are.

Soon after he began his protest, Kaepernick's jersey began rocketing up the sales chart on the NFL's team store as fans flocked to load up on gear in support of the 28-year-old.

On Instagram, Kaepernick wrote that he planned to donate all proceeds he receives from jersey sales back into local communities.

Another sign that his protest is working is the fact that other athletes are starting to join in.

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe took a knee as the anthem played prior to one of her games, 49ers safety Eric Reid joined Kaepernick in protest prior to the game against the Chargers, and Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall showed solidarity during the team's opening night game against the Carolina Panthers.

A successful protest isn't one that makes others feel comfortable. A successful protest isn't one that leaves the status quo in place. A successful protest won't leave you universally beloved.

Protesters show their support of Kaepernick. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Colin Kaepernick knows this. The others who join him know this. They continue on, anyway, and any way you measure it — attention brought to an issue, financial support toward a cause — it's clear they're winning.

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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