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Libby Scott's mom Kym said her 10-year-old daughter "hardly ever" would chose to read or write.

Libby has autism, and her mom said part of the symptoms include rarely reading or writing.

Photo courtesy Kym Scott.


So when Kym saw that Libby had written a fictional short story, she wanted to rally support for her.

She took to Twitter to share the story, titled "The Life of a Perfectionist."

In just a few hundred words, Libby describes a fictional character's struggle to get through her day and the difficult interactions she has with strangers who aren't aware of her condition or how to interact with her.

"I notice that my candles are in the wrong order; the cleaner must've done it," the character says. "I think to myself I don't want to get up as I am so comfortable. I reluctantly climb out of bed to adjust my candles."

Libby's character finds comfort in a song until she becomes upset by the word count and reaches out to Taylor Swift.

"The next morning I realise my favourite song doesn't have exactly 100 words, it has 98. My heart stops," she writes. "A few hours later I find myself writing to the singer telling her how I felt. I got a reply from her saying 'I am sorry but I cannot change the lyrics of my song, lots of love Taylor Swift.'"

Through this fictional character, Libby discovered a way to explain a part of her own experience having autism.

And Twitter users swiftly responded with praise. What started as a simple gesture of support quickly went viral. In less than 48 hours, more than 40,000 people had liked Kym's tweet and nearly 20,000 had retweeted it.

"I had no idea my little bit of writing would go so far, but I’m really excited and pleased," Libby says. "Especially if it helps people see a different viewpoint of autism and if it can help them understand a family member better."

Alan Gardner, a TV presenter in the U.K. with autism, had some simple and poignant praise for how Libby was helping others.

Children's author Ann Cleeves chimed in as well with some words of support that would mean a lot to any writer, let alone a 10-year-old putting her work out into the world for the first time.

Libby even received praise from the head of Condé Nast International, one of the most powerful publishing operations in the world.

Kym posted a second story from Libby and even helped her create her own Twitter account.

Storytelling is one of our most powerful tools for better understanding one another.

By sharing her writing, Libby is building bridges of understanding and empathy with others.

"For too long autism has been misunderstood and autistic people made to try to fit in, which adds hugely to their anxiety," Kym says. "The most important thing we can do for autistic people in my opinion is stop trying to make them fit into a neurotypical world and to allow and encourage them to be their very best autistic selves."

Libby on the right. Photo courtesy of Kym Scott.

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Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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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.

Education

All-female flight crews known as 'Night Witches' bombed the crap out of Nazi targets in WWII

The Germans were terrified of these pilots whose silent planes swooped in like ghosts.

The Night Witches were feared by the Germans for their stealth bombing runs.

If you like stories of amazing women, buckle up, because this one is a wild ride.

During WWII, the Soviet Air Force's 588th Night Bomber Regiment flew incredibly harrowing missions, bombing Germans with rudimentary biplanes in the dead of night. The Germans called them Nachthexen—"Night Witches"—because the only warning they had before the bombs hit was an ominous whooshing sound akin to a witch's broom.

The "whoosh" sound was due to the fact that the women would cut the planes' engines as they approached, gliding in stealthily before dropping their bombs. And the Night Witches moniker was fitting, considering the fact that the 588th was an all-female regiment.

Their missions were incredibly dangerous, especially considering how the women were equipped. Most of the recruits were in their late teens to mid-20s, and crew members had to learn how to pilot, navigate and maintain the aircraft so they could serve the regiment in any capacity. They underwent an intensive year of training to learn what usually took several years to master.

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This article originally appeared on July 2, 2019


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