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Upworthy readers send over 1,500 letters and gifts to 90-yr-old 'Grandma Florence'

Sometimes humans strangers pull together for no reason other than to simply bring joy to another human.

That's what happened when Upworthy shared a request we'd been sent by a reader whose grandmother had fractured a vertebrae. Leslie Agan contacted Upworthy saying that her 90-year-old Grandma Florence needed a little pick-me-up. She had fallen on Christmas morning and fractured a vertebrae in her neck, and was "feeling depressed in rehab after being told she won't be able to go home for several months."


"She is 'all there' mentally, and just celebrated her 90th birthday last May," wrote Agan. "Would it be possible to invite your followers to send her a card/note wishing her a speedy recovery?"

"She is an amazing woman who has a wonderful sense of humor," she added, "is very personable and sweet, but is having a hard year so far."

We felt for Grandma Florence and invited our Instagram followers to help her out.

And help her out they did.

People from all over the world began responding to the Instagram post, saying that they were putting a letter in the mailbox for Florence. Even actress Jennifer Garner responded with a heart and a checkmark.

Grandma Florence has received more than 1,500 cards so far, and they keep on coming. "She has been genuinely overwhelmed and overcome with emotion," Agan says. "She says she wishes she could hug and thank every person who has sent her something. She was feeling so depressed and now she says, 'To receive cards every day - it feels like Christmas! I can't thank everyone enough.'"

Grandma Florence is determined to read every card she gets immediately—but it's not just cards she's received. A reader from Australia sent her a stuffed koala, a couple from New York sent her a Harry Potter book and a picture of their baby, and she even got a card from "Bob the Dog" in England.

She also received handmade notes from an entire classroom of kids. "My grandma cried when she read all of the beautifully hand signed and drawn cards from Classroom 10," says Agan. "Those might've been a favorite."

Agan's mother, Liberta (Florence's daughter who has been helping her with rehab) says, "One thing I've noticed is that people don't just sign the card, they always write a paragraph or two. It's very sweet what these people are doing."

When Upworthy fans are called to show kindness, we're not surprised that they show up in droves and go the extra mile. Taking immediate action to help out a fellow human who is struggling is the most Upworthy thing there is.

"The world is full of negativity, and this outpouring of love reminds me that there really are others who are willing to help someone who is struggling," says Agan. "At the same time, my heart goes out to the elderly that are just left alone in these facilities, forgotten and alone. We really need to let loved ones know that we care, no matter their situation. I'm so thankful that Upworthy has provided the platform to bring my grandma this kind of joy and hope."

And we're so thankful you gave us the opportunity to help.


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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