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I'm a sexual assault survivor. This is how you can help me feel safe in Trump's America.

After the election, this is what one sexual assault survivor wants you to know.

Yesterday, I put on my makeshift pantsuit and cried happy tears as I made my way across state lines to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton.

But I didn't just cast my vote for her, the woman who would've been our first female president. I cast my vote against Donald Trump, a man who has had multiple women come forward to levy assault allegations at him.

My candidate lost the election. But as a sexual assault survivor, I lost even more.  

I spent most of last night comforting fellow survivors. They were having panic attacks in their rooms. They were driving aimlessly, afraid to go home. They were out with friends, dissociating.


I knew I was going to wake up to a different America, one full of people who confirmed my biggest fear with their votes.

This election confirmed what so many other groups now know: I am not protected. It is not safe to be a survivor of sexual assault in America.  

With a few hundred electoral votes counted, I felt exactly as I had right after my assault: numb.

The silver lining in all of this is that when I was done crying and staring at the ceiling, I picked up my phone and saw dozens of texts from friends checking in from across the country. I knew I had people in my corner. That's what got me out of bed this morning.

But it's only Wednesday. The week is young. Our president-elect hasn't even taken office yet.

So this is what I need from you right now: I need your endorsement.

No, I'm not staging a one-woman coup. This isn't me begging for a recount, either. I'm asking for a do-over, but not a do-over election.

You're voting in tiny yet profound ways every single day, and this matters. This is the do-over.

You vote when you laugh at a rape joke. You vote when you explain away an actor's — or a candidate's — history of violence against women. You vote when you refuse to step in when you see someone's consent being violated. You vote when you ignore statistics that say we're all around you, watching you, hoping you'll do something to support us.

And with every vote, you're endorsing either the survivor or the assailant. So what do I need from you? This week, I need you to ask yourself:"If I do this, if I vote like this, who will be in power? Will I be endorsing the survivor? Or will I be casting my vote for the assailant?"

Right now, even if you don't know it, you're surrounded by survivors who are afraid and struggling. They're your coworkers and friends and family members and strangers, and they all have one thing in common: They're waiting to see if they can trust you.

This week, I'm asking you to empower those who have had their power taken away.

We can't change what happened last night, but you can help support survivors moving forward.

Speak out. Promote a crisis hotline. Donate to a local rape crisis organization. Make it clear that regardless of who is in the highest office in this land, you will do what it takes to support survivors.

If I can ask anything from you this week, it's your endorsement. I need an ally. I need someone in my corner, someone who has my back. I need someone who will fight with me as we work to protect other people who are oppressed and scared, someone who will text me at 5 a.m., and call out awful rape jokes, and take care of me.

Can I count on you?

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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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 LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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