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Kids these days...

...they're pretty great, actually. Despite the negative rap they seem to get, if you pay attention, you'll see kids — from toddlers to teens — doing really cool things for each other, thinking of amazing innovations, giving spot-on advice, and just generally being great people.

UPtv (no relation to Upworthy) asked several kids about the one thing they really wanted for Christmas.

The folks behind the video said that the point of it was to serve as a reminder that it's better to give gifts than receive them. Several kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta participated. It's worth noting that UPtv says about 83% of families who are part of the organization struggle to make ends meet. So it's likely that gifts aren't exactly overflowing from under the trees for many of the kids who participated.


After they ask the kids what they wanted, they ask what the kids thought their parents wanted. Then they told the kids they had to choose between the gift for them and the gift for their parents. That's what made me uncomfortable with the premise — it's a sort of social experiment that puts kids who already deal with disadvantage in a crappy situation.

However, I think it's worth sharing because I think they showed something much bigger, far more significant, and unrelated to the uncomfortable point the creators set out to make. They showed that we're raising a generation of empathetic, thoughtful, and kind children who, despite dealing with very real life challenges, are thinking of others. That contradicts the "spoiled, selfish, me generation" narrative we often hear when we talk about kids.

Here's how it played out.

All GIFs via UPtv.

After kids were asked what gift they really wanted for the holidays, they were asked what their parents might want.

Next, the filmmakers brought both sets of gifts to the kids — the items from their wish list and the item the kids thought their parents might like.

And then the filmmakers told the kids there was a catch. They had to choose just one gift: the one for them or the one for their parent.

Every. single. child. chose the gift for their parent.

When asked why they made the choice they did, the kids' reasons were simple, heartfelt, and reflective of their kindness.

In the end, the kids were given both the gift for them and the gift for their parents (which ... thank goodness, because any other outcome would have left me breaking stuff on my desk).

But they didn't know that when they made their decisions, and they still chose to give to someone else. Their parents were touched by their kindness — but I'll bet they weren't surprised.

We shouldn't be surprised either. For the most part, kids are born good people. Michael Tomasello, a psychologist and co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said in a 2008 lecture that kids are helpful and cooperative — traits that come naturally.

"They have an almost reflexive desire to help, inform, and share. And they do so without expectation or desire for reward," Tomasello said, according to a Stanford University news article. As they get older, Tomasello said, they become aware of their surroundings, how others perceive them, and how their actions are received.

It makes sense that when kids are nurtured to be empathetic people, that natural predisposition will grow.

So the next time you hear someone comment on "kids these days," you can remind them that kids these days are pretty damn great.

And despite the many challenges and obstacles that so many face, our youngest generation is full of loving, thoughtful human beings.


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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