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All over Ireland, you can find graffiti murals honoring important historic fights, but few have been as controversial as this one.

"Repeal the 8th," a red heart declares.


Image via The HunReal Issues/Facebook, used with permission.

It's a reference to the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, which "acknowledges the right to life of the unborn" and is often cited as the origin of Ireland's incredibly strict anti-abortion laws.

"[Ireland has] come from such a Catholic situation, and there’s a lot of scare-mongering involved, the people are afraid to talk about it at all," Andrea Horan, founder of the organization behind the mural, The HunReal Issues, said. "We wanted to put up a piece that would start conversations."

To do that, Horan asked well-known Irish artist Maser to create a mural on the side of Dublin's Project Arts Center (which often sports somewhat controversial artistic messages) in the hope that a public, political statement would gain more attention from the masses.

Was she ever right. People flocked to the mural, sharing photos of it across social media.

Collage of people sharing photos of the mural. Image via The HunReal Issues/Facebook, used with permission.

Not everyone was thrilled by the mural, however.

Angry pro-life organizations went to the city council to demand the mural be removed.

One of the groups even set up a petition online expressing its disgust that taxpayer money was being used to fund this pro-abortion mural agenda, a claim that was totally bogus, according to Horan, because Maser paid for it himself.

Despite many citizens fighting for the mural to remain in place, ultimately bureaucracy won out on a technicality. According to city law, all murals need planning permission before they're created.

Just three weeks after it debuted, the mural was painted over by order of the city council.

Mural removed only three weeks after it was painted. Image via The HunReal Issues/Facebook, used with permission.

Of course, there are hundreds of other murals all over the city that have remained up for years despite not having permission from the city, but none of them support abortion access, so they've been left untouched by bureaucracy.

That's when local artists got involved.

One thing artists probably hate more than the government telling people what to do with their bodies is the government censoring their art.

So they fought back, guerilla-style, splashing "Repeal the 8th" hearts on walls and buildings across Ireland.

Dara K, an Irish graffiti artist, did his own interpretation of the mural. Image via Dara K/Facebook, used with permission.

An artist group called the Generic People projected the original mural on a building in Cork ensuring it couldn't be painted over.

Others painted words of solidarity near Maser's other graffiti works:

A bakery even started making donuts in the image of Maser's mural:

Horan has just been blown away by the response.

It's hard to believe that she had only started The HunReal Issues six weeks ago. At the time, she was hoping — but didn't really imagine — that people would get so involved. It just goes to show, when an issue is important enough to a community, a united front of support is an unstoppable one.

"It's amazing to see the efforts people are going through to make the mural visible," she said. "Everyone's just at the bursting point of 'we need to talk about this.'"

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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via Tod Perry

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