+
female ukrainian soldier, war, ukraine

"The sun is shining, the birds are singing".

Even in the midst of great tragedy, a female Ukrainian soldier chooses to see hope. In a short, 13 second clip, she offers a sweet smile. Her eyes peer up to a clear blue sky. She says with a voice full of warmth:

"I'm still alive, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, everything will be fine. Long live Ukraine..."


Though the soldier hasn’t been identified, her unbreakable positive outlook has taken on iconic status, comforting thousands who look at Ukraine’s plight and feel devastated. She’s already committing a heroic act by defending her country, but this adds another layer of gentle bravery.

She is not alone. Other female soldiers of Ukraine are fighting to stay hopeful in a way that might bring new meaning to the term “girl power.”


Their TikTok channels are filled with the same videos most young women their age post: glamorous makeup looks, joking around with friends, playful dancing. The key difference is … they happen to be donning military attire while doing it.

female ukraine soldiers

Screenshot taken from @vika_222 on TikTok.

TikTok


They show off their manicured hands while holding bullets, and clean their weapons to the sounds of upbeat hip-hop music. The barracks have become the backdrop to their lives, but other than that … life goes on just the same.

It feels like a small, yet powerful act of defiance. As if to say, “this war doesn’t take away who I really am. You cannot have that.” So simple, and yet a victory nonetheless.

As the threat of a possible Russian invasion became more imminent, Ukrainian women between the ages of 18 and 60 who were considered “fit for military service” were required to register for armed forces. And the list of professions considered fit is quite extensive. According to The Wall Street Journal, around 32,000 women were serving in Ukraine’s military as of Feb 17, with many set to take on a variety of combat roles.

female ukraine soldiers tiktok

TikTok

Then, as we all know, the nightmare came true. These women and young girls were plucked from their lives in a time of need to be thrust into war. And yet, their spirits remain untarnished. That is a soft kind of power that shoots straight to the heart. And it’s inspiring.

As it gets more and more difficult to peel our gaze away from the pain, perhaps the most radical form of resilience is holding onto our enthusiasm for life. That is something each and every one of us can do, even though it isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish.

ukraine

TikTok

Our bleakest moments still contain vast possibilities for a brighter future. Even in times of war, birds still sing. The sun still shines. And where we choose to place our focus matters. We can each fight for hope in our own unique way. But it’s always worth fighting for.

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


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Grab your boost of serotonin here.

Polina Tankilevitch/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Holy moly—it's fall, y'all!

As pumpkin spice swoops in and we start unpacking our cozy sweaters and cute boots, we can practically taste the seasonal change in the air. Fall is filled with so many small joys—the fresh, crisp smell of apples, the beauty of the leaves as they shift from greens to yellows, oranges and reds, the way the world gets wrapped in a warm glow even as the air grows cooler.

Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

Keep ReadingShow less