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Barack Obama is speaking out about the future, and it is coming at a time when we definitely need to hear it.

In addressing what's now going on in the world at a Democratic fundraiser on June 28, Obama had painful and hopeful words about the road to progress in America. Here are the three main messages he wants Americans to focus on:

1. Don't wait.

Obama gets that people are worn down and frustrated. "You're right to be concerned," he said. But it's also up to us to carve out a better future.


"Do not wait for the perfect message; don't wait to feel a tingle in your spine because you're expecting politicians to be so inspiring and poetic and moving that somehow, 'OK, I'll get off my couch after all and go spend the 15-20 minutes it takes for me to vote,'" Obama said. "Because that's part of what happened in the last election. I heard that too much."

2. Fear is powerful.

Obama made clear that while recent elections have certainly provided some relief, it's only the beginning. Fear can be a powerful tool that galvanizes a population.

"Telling people that somebody's out to get you or somebody took your job or somebody has it out for you or is going to change you or your community or your way of life," Obama advised, "that's an old story, and it has shown itself to be powerful in societies all around the world. It is a deliberate, systematic effort to tap into that part of our brain that carries fear in it. There's a fundamental contrast of how we view the world. We are seeing the consequences of when one vision is realized or in charge."

It's imperative to not give into that fear. Instead, we should recognize it for what it is and use it as a lightning rod to spur change.

3. Vote.

If there's one thing every one of us can do right now, it's making sure that our voices are heard in upcoming elections. That means getting registered, being informed, and voting in both local and national elections.

“I am not surprised," Obama noted, "that instead of replacing what we had done with something better, they just have done their best to undermine and erode what's already in place. ... You should go out and vote.”

"Boil it down," he added. "If we don't vote, this democracy doesn't work."

It's up to us to to create the future we want.

His words are tough but true if we want to create a better, more equitable future. Consider one thing you can do today to move the needle of progress forward. Call your reps, stand up for what you know to be right when the current administration gets it wrong, and don't lose heart — because November is coming.

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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