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sports bra portland
Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

Womens sports fans get their own bar in Portland, Oregon.

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name … and also where women’s sports finally get the attention they deserve.

Welcome to a bar that finally has both.

At this Portland pub, the TV screens are dominated by female athletes, whether that be in gymnastics, basketball, soccer, you name it. The drinks served come from a women-owned distillery and have clever sports-themed names, like the GOAT (gin, orgeat, aperol, tangerine juice) and the Triple Axel, a nod to Tonya Harding’s signature move.

The spot is aptly named The Sports Bra. Because yes, it supports women.


According to a Unesco study, 40% of professional athletes are female. And yet, women’s sports make up only 4% of all sports coverage.

Founder, owner and sports fan Jenny Nguyen told The Guardian, “Our approach is to take that 4% that is showing and put it on blast.”

Nguyen came up with the idea after watching a championship women’s game on a tiny TV—the only one in the bar—with no sound. She knew the only way she’d ever be able to watch a game with all the fanfare would be to create her own space.

Her unique establishment aims to not only shine a light on the gender imbalance of sports coverage, but to tip the scales as well.

At The Sports Bra, there’s really only one winning strategy at play: “belonging, acceptance, and celebration for all.”

The food menu includes much more than traditional bar grub to accommodate for vegetarian, vegan and even dairy-free folks (nachos are great, but choices are better), plus you won’t be seeing a “women only” sign on the door.

Even kids are welcome, as the bar believes “exposing them to women’s sports can have lasting impacts on their understanding of equity in sports and in life.” It sounds like an oasis for the mom who just wants to eat some fried cauliflower and watch some WNBA with kids in tow.

Five television screens are mounted on the walls, along with framed jerseys and memorabilia from various women's teams. When there are no women’s games available to play, the TVs will simply be turned off. Again, illuminating the lack of coverage available.

Nguyen shared that “I would love to play 24-7 women’s sports in here, but it’s just not possible.” Rather than admit defeat, however, she added, “we use that weakness as a talking point to draw attention to it.”

In making this dream a reality, Nguyen has been a team player. “It really has taken a village,” she told Oregon Live, calling her staff “the best staff on the planet.”

That village includes Nguyen’s cousin Ayu, who painted the bar’s giant sports themed mural filled with bold greens and pinks.

In terms of concept, execution and intention, so far The Sports Bra has been a slam dunk.

The bar had its grand opening on April 1, but the turnout was no joke. Crowds spilled out onto the sidewalk. Cheerleaders waved pom poms. The Kickstarter campaign had already raised $100,000 from backers. People happily waited for hours just to take a peek inside. Safe to say, they were betting on the bar’s success.

It might be the only one of its kind for now, but hopefully that will change soon. In the meantime, we'll be cheering Nguyen and her team from the sidelines.

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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