+

When it comes to symbols of what America stands for, we're pretty partial to the Statue of Liberty.

I mean, people would be pretty upset if this suddenly happened, amirite?


April O'Neil deserves a Pulitzer for this shot. GIF via Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game.

There's a reason we like it so much (and it's not just that comfy-looking robe that may or may not have been the world's first Snuggie). Lady Liberty stands for some of our most closely held values as a nation, and she even comes with an epic poem telling the world that we're ready to accept the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

It's a symbol of our reputation as a welcoming place for people from all over the globe — a reputation we don't always live up to these days. Since the horrid attacks in Paris, many have looked to close borders to Muslim refugees out of the fear of a potential terrorist attack, unleashing a tidal wave of anti-Muslim sentiment in the process. It's in our streets. It's in our schools. It's even found its way into our football games. The recent shooting in San Bernardino, California, may even intensify these feelings.

There's a huge irony here. The Statue of Liberty was originally born a Muslim.

Calm down, Urkel. It's true. GIF from "Family Matters."

Yes, according to a recent article published by Smithsonian magazine (and previously pointed out by The Daily Beast), the magnificent monument that represents everything we as a country stand for was originally envisioned as a Muslim peasant woman that would have stood guard over the Suez Canal in Egypt, not the New York Harbor.

That's because the statue's sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi of France, originally pitched the colossal idea to Isma'il Pasha, the khedive of Egypt (something akin to a viceroy). Thankfully for us, Pasha refused, and Bartholdi soon “sailed to America with drawings of the Muslim woman transformed to the personification of Liberty," as The Daily Beast's Michael Daly put it.

From there, the statue was built by Gustave Eiffel (ever heard of the Eiffel Tower? Yeah, that guy) and gifted to us on Oct. 28, 1886, serving as a symbol of our country's open-door policy to those in need of safety and shelter.

Now, it's these Muslim refugees who need our help the most.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, there have been over 4 million documented Syrian refugees since the country's civil war began in 2011. Nearly half of those refugees have been children, and with winter rapidly approaching, they are facing a bigger risk of malnutrition and abuse than ever before.

Want some more statistics? Of the 784,000 refugees we have admitted since 9/11, only three were ever linked to any terrorist activity, and none of those admitted ever committed an act of terrorism on American soil (which is more than what can be said for people like alleged Colorado shooter Robert L. Dear Jr., who was born right here in America).

Terror attacks are horrible. But we can't let fear supplant reason.

You have a greater chance of dying in an asteroid apocalypse (1 in 12,500) than being killed in a refugee-related act of terrorism. So by turning our backs on millions of Muslim refugees out of fear, we are doing far worse than merely ignoring the words of our forefathers, the words of our Constitution, and the words that adorn our most beloved national symbol.

We are turning our backs on Lady Liberty herself.

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


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
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less
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.

Keep ReadingShow less