+
Three young siblings started a candle company to pay for video games. Now they're giving back to help the homeless.
Instagram / Frères Branchiaux Candle Co.

Three young Maryland brothers who started a candle company to buy new toys now donate $500 a month from their successful business to help the homeless.

Collin, 13, Ryan, 11, and Austin, 8, Gill founded "Frères Branchiaux," which is French for Gill Brothers, after their mom told them they could either get a job or start a business if they wanted more video games and Nerf guns.

"They surprised me when they started a business and they started selling at their baseball and football games and they've moved on to a vending truck," Celena Gill told Good Morning America.

The three of them have been making the candles in their Indian Head home for the last two years and business is booming, with 36 stores carrying the boys' products and a deal with Macy's in the works. They sell nearly 400 candles a month, priced from $18 to $36, along with other products like diffuser oils, room sprays, soap, bath bombs and salts, according to the Washington Post.



Ryan is considered the "scent-ologist" of the group and helps create the scents, like Lavender Crush, Lime Cotton, and Whiskey Sweet.

"I usually pick the most scents I like and then I'll mix them together and ask my family members if they like it or not and then we'll make it into a candle," he told GMA.

RELATED: 12-year-old makes and donates bow ties to help shelter animals find their forever homes

So why candles?

"Me and my brothers asked my mom, 'What's your favorite thing to buy?' At first she said bath bombs, which are kind of a longer process, so we did candles, which was easier," Collin said.

Besides being able to buy their own toys, the business has also allowed the brothers to make an impact in their community.

"My brother Ryan has a big heart," Collin told GMA. "He likes to help homeless people out; in D.C. there is a lot of homelessness, so every time we would stop by and see a homeless person he would ask my mom to give them money."

RELATED: Jaden Smith is responding to L.A.'s homeless crisis by launching a free vegan food truck

From the start, Frères Branchiaux has given 10 percent of its monthly proceeds to Washington, D.C.-area homeless shelters, including Pathways to Housing D.C., Friendship Place and the Father McKenna Center, according to the Post.

"Every time I saw a homeless person, I was always asking Mom if we could give money to them, and this was a way to do it," Ryan said.

Collin appreciates feeling like the business has a greater purpose aside from making money.

"The community helps us, so we have to help back. Giving back helps you and the people you're giving back to," he said.

They're hoping to take their philanthropic efforts one step further by working directly with homeless people.

"We have a big community and we also want to do job creation," Celena said. "Right now we're working with one of the organizations to hire some of their clients transitioning from homelessness."

The brothers are now planning an expansion of the business and are saving up for a "candle truck" along with a facility to make the candles out of.

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 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.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

As people mourn the death of Coolio, a video resurfaced showing just how cool he was

Not many college kids get to say Coolio performed 'Gangsta's Paradise' in their dorm room.

As people mourn the death of Coolio, resurfaced video show how cool he was.

There aren't too many people who haven't heard the song "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio. It quickly climbed the charts after it was used in the soundtrack of the movie "Dangerous Minds" and brings nostalgia anytime it comes on the radio. Following Coolio's unexpected death, it's no wonder the song is being played again. But one user had a unique experience with the late rapper, and his 2013 video has resurfaced on YouTube showing Coolio hanging out with the group of England's University of Central Lancashire students in their dorm room.

Keep ReadingShow less
via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less