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If you haven't heard of Dan Reynolds, you've at least heard his voice on the radio — probably many, many times.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

He's the 30-year-old frontman of the hugely successful American rock band Imagine Dragons.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.


Right now, the band is performing at venues around the world before bringing their tour home to North America this summer. And at Lollapalooza Brasil in São Paulo over the weekend of March 23, 2018, Reynolds — who identifies as straight and cisgender — did something pretty fantastic during his performance: He took out a rainbow flag and waved it around the stage.

In a heartfelt post following the performance, Reynolds called on our world to "fully embrace" LGBTQ youth.

He also explained how he sees "loving" someone and truly "accepting" them as two different things.

"To 'accept' does not simply mean to 'love,'" Reynolds argued. "It means you give true validity and fully embrace and support diverse sexual orientations and do not see ones sexuality as 'incorrect' or 'sinful.' Love is an empty word otherwise."

The message is an especially telling one in Brazil right now.

While São Paulo's gay pride is often billed as the world's largest, and Brazil offers some protections and rights to LGBTQ people — such as marriage equality — a recent surge in anti-LGBTQ violence has the queer community in Brazil on edge.

At least 445 LGBTQ Brazilians died directly due to homophobia or transphobia last year, according to watchdog group Grupo Gay de Bahia — the highest ever on record. The organization tracked 387 murders attributed to hate crimes and 58 suicides inextricably tied to anti-LGBTQ sentiment.

Brazilian music artist MC Linn da Quebrada, who is transgender. Photo by Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images.

Some advocates claim the alarming figures correlate with a steep rise in ultraconservative political leaders using their platforms to promote bigotry. Luiz Mott, president of Grupo Gay de Bahia, told The Guardian in January that increasing evangelical influence in Brazil is to blame for the violence: "It’s a discourse that destroys solidarity and equates LGBT people to animals."

With the Trump administration in power — along with a Republican-controlled Congress — LGBTQ advocates in the U.S. worry the same effect is happening in America. A recent study by GLAAD found that, for the first time since 2014, more Americans report feeling uncomfortable with their LGBTQ neighbors.

Reynolds' message of acceptance needs to be heard all around the world — even in the countries where it's deemed less vital today.

Reynolds at  The Trevor Project's 2017 TrevorLIVE L.A. event, where he was honored with the Hero Award for his support for LGBTQ youth. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

"To be gay is beautiful and right and perfect," Reynolds told Billboard in 2017. "To tell someone they need to change their inner-most being is setting up someone for an unhealthy life and unhealthy foundation."

If you are an LGBTQ youth and need some help, don't hesitate to reach out to your friends at The Trevor Project.

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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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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