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You might know Danai Gurira from "The Walking Dead."

She plays the fierce, zombie-slaying Michonne on TV, but this Zimbabwean-American actress is fighting to rid the world of an epidemic in real life.

Image via Gene Page/AMC.


Gurira grew up in southern Africa in the 1980s and '90s and witnessed the horrors brought about by the rise of HIV/AIDS in local communities.

She's since decided to use her platform to help.

Image via iStock.

Gurira is an advocate for Nyumbani Village in Kenya — the first village in Africa founded for children and elders living with HIV/AIDS.

When the pandemic began to rise in Africa, a startling number of children born with HIV were abandoned. Many more who lost their parents to AIDS were turned away from orphanages. Families were fractured as middled-aged people died, leaving behind the very young and elderly.

The founder of Nyumbani, Father Angelo D'Agostino, first opened an orphanage on a shoestring budget that only supported two children. After he died, his organization realized his greatest dream: a holistic, beautiful village for orphans and grandparents living with HIV/AIDS.

Located on more than 1,000 acres of land, Nyumbani Village is a vibrant, sustainable community complete with free schooling, health care, and psychosocial support.

It's a thriving hub for innovative green technology and building methods where residents grow and harvest their own food. Instead of housing children in traditional orphanages, Nyumbani prefers to create loving families by pairing kids with grandparents who also have AIDS.  

Photo via Ben Curtis/CBS News/AP.

Nyumbani — which means "home" in Swahili — has since given thousands of children and elders affected by AIDS a place to live and thrive. It’s also become a model for other African villages who are affected.

Currently 69% of the 34 million AIDS-affected people worldwide live in sub-Saharan Africa. That's why we need to support organizations like Nyumbani.

Gurira believes that looking out for others is central to the spirit of African culture.

"I love what Nyumbani's doing because it brings back the integrity of that really essential component of African life, which is, we take care of each other," Gurira said.

Watch the Upworthy Original video here:

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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