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He survived a 10,000-mile journey to places his wheelchair often couldn't go.

They biked for a year to show that exercise can be for all, even when you're disabled.

Paralympian Seth McBride was always athletic.

As a kid growing up in Alaska, he enjoyed the intensity of mountain biking and hiking. So he was devastated after a skiing accident at 17 left him paralyzed.

In "The Long Road South," a short film that Seth and his fiancée, Kelly Schwan, produced, he admitted, “I had a hard couple of years after my accident, just trying to come to grips with living in a new body basically. And a body that doesn't behave as I thought it should."


All images via "The Long Road South."

After living with quadriplegia for 14 years, Seth now says that he's figured out how to do a lot of the things that he loves.

After helping the U.S. wheelchair rugby team take home the gold during the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, he set another goal: to become the first disabled athlete to finish a trans-continental cycle tour — which is a really big deal.

“We're going to be riding hand cycles and bicycles from Portland, Oregon, to Patagonia, Argentina. A trip of 10,000 miles that's going to take us about a year," Seth explained in the short film, which documents him and Kelly before they started the tour.

Strapping only the essentials to their bikes, the well-traveled couple was hyped about their trip and totally unfazed by what other folks may see as a big 'ole obstacle.

While they planned to cycle through gorgeous places, a lot of them aren't wheelchair-friendly.

Kelly, an occupational therapist who met Seth while volunteering during the 2008 games, talked about why pushing beyond these challenges is so important.

“I'm such a firm believer in equality. Erasing barriers for people with disabilities. We kind of live in a picture-perfect world sometimes in the U.S., especially in Portland, where everyone is pretty well accepted, no matter what you got going on. To go through all of these different countries, through all of these different cultures, to have a better understanding of how people get by, without all of the resources we have in the States, it's all things that will help us grow."

Since the filming of "The Long Road South," Kelly and Seth successfully completed the transcontinental trip.

And when it came to some of those difficult places that were hard for Seth to navigate, Kelly sometimes picked him up and carried him through. Seth says that she's one of the strongest people he knows. She says he's got all the street smarts.

Despite both of their imperfections, together they make an unstoppable team.

And that's what their trip was all about — showing people that no matter what challenges exists, Seth says, “if you want to do something, you should be able to just make a plan and go try and do it."

True dat.

You can watch "The Long Road South" here:

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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via Pixabay

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