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Meet Lexie Nobrega. She saw Pride Month as a great reason to celebrate and spend time with her grandparents.

The 21-year-old who lives and studies in Norfolk, Virginia, traveled to Washington, D.C., for the city's Pride Month festivities. Not only would Nobrega celebrate being herself, she'd also get to spend a few nights with her grandparents — two of her favorite people.

Her grandmother's small act of kindness on the day of the Capital Pride Festival is now going viral.

When Nobrega woke up to get ready that morning, her grandma, Hermina, walked into the room, took one look at the creases on her granddaughter's bisexual Pride flag and thought, "No, this won't do." So she got out her iron and started "pressing it out."


Nobrega was overcome with emotion and wanted to remember the moment, so she snapped a picture for social media. Her intention was just to share it with family, but the gesture was so poignant that the photo quickly rocketed into the world, fueled by tens of thousands of likes and retweets.

Nobrega says her grandmother also ironed out the rest of her costume so she wouldn't go to Pride looking anything but her best.

This kind of support is nothing new for her grandparents.

Nobrega, who came out to her grandparents as bisexual during her senior year of high school, notes that while they'd always been her rock, being open with them about her identity was still difficult.

"Both of my grandparents have always taught me to love and accept all people, but coming out to them still wasn't easy," she says. "I was afraid that they would judge me or treat me differently."

Coming out is a complex and personal process and — as many people in the LGBTQIA community will tell you — there's a lot of fear that comes along with telling even the most loving people in your life.

For Nobrega, nothing changed: "They gave me a big hug and said, 'That's OK, we love you.'"

Nobrega's been "blown away" by all the love she received, but it's not surprising that her grandmother's actions have resonated far and wide.

As someone who came out of the closet to parents who were virulently homophobic at the time — though my mom and dad's views have since changed drastically — I can tell you firsthand how lonely, isolating, and scary it can feel.

The feeling of not having to hide who you truly are anymore is indescribable. But having to face the reality that you may lose the love and support of your family isn't just painful, it can be dangerous: According to recent research, LGBTQIA youth are at a higher risk of experiencing homelessness than other youth.

So seeing Nobrega's picture wasn't just heartwarming — it was also a clear sign that acceptance and progress are on the move.

For allies, it's a clear message that you don't have to make grand gestures to show up for your LGBTQIA friends and family. Just like Hermina did.

"My grandma is small but has a huge, compassionate heart," Nobrega says. "She loves learning about the LGBT+ community and never judges others for who they are or who they love. Even the smallest gestures of support speak volumes to someone who is a part of the LGBT+ community."

What does that look like? For Nobrega, support includes showing love and compassion to those in the community, listening to their experiences without judgment, educating oneself on the different identities that fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, and putting a special focus on those identities — such as bisexuality, asexuality, and aromanticism — which often go underrepresented or are erased, and supporting local LGBTQIA centers and shelters.

It all makes a difference.

Lexie Nobrega looked amazing at Capital Pride. Just look at that flag.

Her grandma? She couldn't have been any prouder.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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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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