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Educators deserve a break. That's just as true for teachers as it is for Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of "Hamilton."

You've heard of it, right? The smash Broadway hit with a talented and diverse cast spitting rhymes about our country's Founding Fathers that's been fetching an average of $1,000 per ticket?

Miranda has been going nonstop for more than a year and a half in the eponymous role of the first secretary of the treasury of the United States — after first, ya know, writing the entire musical — so now the time has come for him to take his own summer vacation.


Miranda, center, at his final performance of "Hamilton" on July 9, 2016. Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.

But just two days before his final on-stage performance, Miranda also found the time to speak with 200 high school teachers in Manhattan.

The MacArthur Award-winning genius went to the Broadway Teachers Workshop and talked about the power and value of education and the important lessons of youth.

But this conversation was far more than some fun celebrity fluff. As a former high school teacher himself — and as someone who wrote an historical musical that teaches about the founding of our nation in a fresh, new, and delightfully anachronistic way — Miranda had some pretty insightful things to say to those often overworked and underappreciated shapers-of-minds.

Here are a few highlights from Miranda's lecture and the Q&A that followed:

1. Teaching is its own reward, and nothing's better than watching students learn and grow.

2. You might not learn about cooperation and collaboration in a textbook, but they'll carry you far beyond the classroom.

3. Students see the world in ways that grown-ups can't — and that's a good thing.

4. It's one thing to memorize facts and figures. But it's even more important for students to understand and relate to other people.

5. Things like high school theater can help you learn and grow by working closely with other students toward a larger goal. (Even if you don't plan to take it all the way to Broadway.)

6. History books are full of facts and details. But they're also full of real people who lived and breathed and struggled, just like you.

7. Everyone sees the world differently, so it's OK for students to disagree — just as long as they can have a conversation about it.

8. If you hate something, don't shut it out. It might be able to teach you something about yourself or the world around you.

9. And perhaps most importantly: Don't throw away your shot. That goes for teachers and students alike.

In a time of inefficient standardized tests and shrinking school budgets, Miranda's words are a moving reminder of the true value of education — and the arts — in enriching our lives.

If you're a teacher, thanks for all the incredible work you to do encourage kids to keep learning.

And if you're not a teacher? There was probably at least one teacher who taught you how to think — really think — and that's a gift that deserves way more appreciation than it gets.

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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