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It may be spring, but there's one football league already back on the gridiron.

The teams are athletic.


All images and GIFs via Upworthy/YouTube.

The runs are epic.

And the players are women.

Don't worry, that's a look Callie Brownson is all too familiar with.

It's the face she gets when she tells people she plays women's professional football. Most people don't expect it, but Callie and her teammates hope to change that.

Callie Brownson gets ready to take the field.

Callie is a wide receiver for the D.C. Divas, a team in the Women's Football Alliance.

The professional league includes 45 teams, divided into two conferences and four divisions, similar to the NFL. The teams play an eight-game season, followed by intense conference playoffs and a national championship.

In 2015, the D.C. Divas went undefeated.

Despite their prowess on the field, some people still have their doubts.

A women's football league challenges many outdated notions of femininity, athleticism, and strength. No matter how popular women's sports get, the athletes remain hyper-sexualized and undercut at every turn — like this piece last year from FIFA about soccer forward and children's book author Alex Morgan, calling her "a talented goalscorer with a style that is very easy on the eye and good looks to match."


The athletes in the Women's Football Alliance are playing a game they love, and they compete with ferocity. The blocks are hard and loud, the passes are on point, the games are just as competitive and fast-paced as any other semi-pro league, and none of the women have time for your hangups.

Or as Callie put it:

She doesn't let that stop her. It only drives her to play harder.

Because it's not just about her. It's about the kids who see Callie and her teammates as role models.

The next generation of athletes — maybe even football players — watch the D.C. Divas' every move on and off the field. It's a responsibility the players don't take lightly.

"If you remember being a kid and looking up to somebody doing something that you wanted to do,if they were a positive role model and they made it seem like that dream was possible, you wanted to do it," Callie told Upworthy. "And that's what we have to continue to do. We have to continue to fight the good fight."

A future Diva keeps an eye on practice.

You can join the good fight by checking out a women's football game (or any women's sport, for that matter) in your area.

Bring your family, go with friends, and make a day of it. Just take some time to support the athletes and competitors who don't always get the accolades or attention they deserve. Your presence and your ticket dollars can go a long way toward keeping opportunities like this around for years to come.

Watch Callie tell her story and see the D.C. Divas in action in this Upworthy Original video.


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 LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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