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U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia knows more than most about the importance of voting.

Which is why on Nov. 3, 2016, he tweeted this photo:

Throughout his life and his work, Lewis has fought for our democracy — and for his right to vote.

The 15th Amendment granted African-Americans the right to vote in 1870. In many areas, however, it was too difficult and dangerous for black citizens to exercise that right. In many states, voting while black meant risking your life.


The civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s led to the eventual passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed racial discrimination in voting and expanded protection for black voters.

Lewis helped make all of that happen.

Lewis (left) with Whitney Young, Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and Roy Wilkins in 1963. Photo via AFP/Getty Images.

A prominent civil rights leader, Lewis marched side by side with Martin Luther King Jr. in the '60s.

Lewis is considered one of the "big six" leaders of the movement. In his 20s, he helped organize nonviolent sit-ins at segregated lunch counters. He was instrumental in organizing the March on Washington and was the youngest speaker there.

President Obama counts Lewis among his personal heroes and had this to say about him on the the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma, Alabama (emphasis mine):

"[America is] boisterous and diverse and full of energy, perpetually young in spirit. That’s why someone like John Lewis at the ripe age of 25 could lead a mighty march. And that’s what the young people here today and listening all across the country must take away from this day. You are America. Unconstrained by habits and convention. Unencumbered by what is, and ready to seize what ought to be. "

Obama awarding Lewis the Medal of Freedom in 2010. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

You probably don't need to be reminded of what's at stake in the 2016 election, but...

It's good to be reminded not to take democracy — and our right to vote — for granted.

There are people alive today, like John Lewis, who vividly remember a time when they couldn't safely exercise their right to vote. There are women alive today who remember not having that right at all.

Voting is as much your individual participation in democracy as it is a tribute to those who have been arrested, beaten, bloodied, and killed fighting to ensure you have that right.

The voting rights march of 1965. William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images

Whatever your politics, you should be proud to cast a ballot on Election Day. And when you do, try to remember those who came before you. Remembering their hard work and sacrifice is an important part of ushering in a brighter future.

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.

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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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