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Pam Brekke turned away from the register at a Lowe's store in Orlando, tears streaming down her face.

With Hurricane Irma barreling toward south Florida this weekend, Brekke desperately needed to find a generator to keep her dad's oxygen tank working, should he lose power in the storm, according to The Telegraph. But like every other store Brekke had visited this week, this particular Lowe's had just run out of a new shipment. She didn't know what to do.

"My father is on oxygen," she explained to WFTV News. "I’m worried about this storm."


Fortunately, fellow store patron Ramon Santiago was there to save the day.

Santiago had snatched up one of the last generators the store had in stock, and upon seeing Brekke in tears — and without even knowing the details of her dire situation — insisted she take his.

"It’s OK," he assured her as they embraced in a hug. "Everything is OK."

WFTV News reporter Nancy Alvarez caught the emotional exchange on video:

Posted by Nancy Alvarez, WFTV on Thursday, September 7, 2017

Alvarez shared the video on Facebook, noting she was "writing [the caption] through tears and with a heart full of pride for my community."

Natural disasters bring about the worst of tragedies, but they tend to bring out the best in ourselves.

From brave reporters putting their jobs on hold to save lives, to heroes who refuse to leave their neighbors behind, humanity shines brightest when our backs are up against a wall.

"She need the generator," Santiago, whose first language is not English, explained to WFTV. "It's OK. No worry for them."

Now, as Irma — the strongest hurricane ever to be recorded in the Atlantic Ocean — propels through the Caribbean, Floridians are proving once again that fear is no match for compassion.

"I'm very overwhelmed by that man," Brekke noted. "That gentleman was a great gentleman right there. God will bless that man."

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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