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basketball, high school, Minnesota, wildcats

The Rich sisters have a unique history with the coach of their high school basketball team.

The Rich sisters are unusual for their shared basketball skills. All four of them—senior Mackenzie, junior Courtney, sophomore Avery and eighth-grader Dakota—play for the top-ranked New London-Spicer High School basketball team in New London, Minnesota. But according to a report by KARE 11, the fact that four sisters all play for the same high school team at the same time isn't the most interesting part of their story.

The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 in the state and are coached by Mike Dreier, who has been coaching the team for 43 seasons. One of the reasons Coach Dreier has been there for so long? The Rich girls' dad, Earl.

Earl Rich attended New London-Spicer High School himself and played sports, like his daughters. He was also a foster kid who caught the eye and heart of caring coach Mike Dreier.


Earl's mother became unable to care for him due to illness when he was in second grade. His biological father wasn't in the picture, and Earl ended up living in five different foster homes.

When Dreier found out that Earl was going to be transferred to a different school his sophomore year because his fifth foster family was giving him up, the coach made a quick decision.

“I was in the lunchroom one day,” Dreier told KARE, “and the music teacher was saying, ‘Aww, Earl's gonna have to move to Willmar.’ Listened to him and I said, ‘Well he can come live with me.’”

Earl knew Dreier, having been coached by him in seventh grade football, but he was still shocked to find out he was offering to take him in.

But they got the paperwork completed, and Earl lived with Dreier from his sophomore year until he graduated high school. What's more, Dreier served as a father figure for Earl—something he hadn't experienced up until then.

“I never spent three years at one place,” Earl says. “He just gave me every aspect of a dad that I never had.”

Earl went off to college at Southwest Minnesota State University, where he played football and baseball. Then he returned to New London to start his own real estate business.

Dreier, now 69, had planned to stop coaching by now, but Earl implored him to stick around so that he could coach his daughters.

“You gotta keep coaching, you've got to coach my kids,” Dreier recalls Earl saying. “I just said, ‘I can't. I don't think I'll be hanging on that long, Earl.'”

Earl told his girls, “If there's any coach I want you to play for, it would be him.”

Dreier decided to stick it out. Now, he coaches the four daughters of the man he helped raise through his teen years. And his team, with the four Rich girls playing on it, is undefeated.

Not a bad legacy to leave on all fronts, Coach Dreier.

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.

Polina Tankilevitch/Canva

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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