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Is there anything sweeter than seeing an old man cuddling a newborn baby? No, there isn't.

Except maybe when that gentleman donates a million dollars to the NICU where he's volunteered for the past year and a half.

Screenshot via ​University of South Alabama/Youtube​.


81-year-old Louis Mapp has become enamored with his role in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at USA Children's and Women's Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Every Tuesday, he drives 45 minutes to the hospital to rock, feed, and burp babies whose families aren't able to be there 24/7. As a grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of two, he's an experienced baby cuddler, but he doesn't seem to tire of it.

"I love to look at their expressions when I rock them. This one is smiling at me right now, and it just makes your day to do that,"  Mapp told WKRG news.

Swoon.

Mapp's generosity of spirit is reflected in his million dollar donation to the hospital.

Through their foundation, Mapp and his wife, Melinda, have donated $1 million to the NICU be used however the doctors and nurses choose.  

“After being there and seeing what a special place it is, and what an impact they have on people’s lives, my wife and I decided we wanted to do something for them,” Mapp told PEOPLE. “We have been blessed, and we said, ‘What a good place, to share some of those blessings, with the NICU.’”

The Mapps wanted their endowment to be large enough that when the caregivers recognize a need that might not be in the budget, they'd have a pool of funds to draw from. He told WKRG that he was happy to give the money to a place that "has his heart."

Screenshot via ​University of South Alabama/Youtube

Mapp says he's using his time left on earth to help others, giving us all a fresh round of #aginggoals.

Mapp has given out around 600 grants through his foundation, which have helped fund free clinics, food banks, and drug rehab programs. But he doesn't stop at donating money.

“Every day, I ask the Lord, ‘Show me, somebody, where I can help them,’ ” Mapp told PEOPLE. “It may not be financially, it may be giving them a ride, or making a phone call, but I figure, while I’m here on earth, I need to do everything I can to help others.”

Once a week, the answer to that prayer looks like rocking newborn babies, giving them the vital, hands-on care they need. The hospital serves families from a wide area, and some aren't able to stay at the hospital with their babies because they have to return to work, care for other children, or other reasons. So volunteers like Mapp provide the essential human touch newborn babies need, and get a regular dose of newborn wonder in return.

"These babies are so precious," Mapp told the University of Southern Alabama, "It's just hard to put it in words."

See? New favorite. Keep up the awesome humaning, Mr. Mapp.

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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Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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