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Yesterday, 5-year-old Sophie Cruz had what was probably one of the best days of her life.

The daughter of undocumented immigrants eagerly broke past security as Pope Francis rode by and was rewarded with a hug from the global religious leader. In that touching moment, she handed him a handwritten letter that outlined her plea for immigration reform.


Photo by Esra Kaymak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

The heartwarming story of the little girl with a determined spirit and an important message made international news.

It was fitting lead-up to the pope's agenda today, which many thought would be far less warm and fuzzy: giving a historic speech to Congress.

In his speech this morning, Pope Francis covered a variety of issues, from climate change and poverty to the death penalty and, yes, immigration. If you listened closely throughout, you'd have heard quite a few things that are sure to have made little Sophie proud.

This one's for you, Sophie. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Here are five lines from Sophie's letter, paired with lines from the pope's speech to Congress, that make me wonder if the bold little girl had a hand in writing it:

Sophie: "I want to tell you that my heart is sad,"

Pope Francis: “I also want to dialogue with those young people who … face difficult situations, often as a result of immaturity on the part of many adults."

The pope began his remarks by listing the groups of people who were a priority for him to speak with and think of during his trip to the U.S.

High on that list were young people. He could have just addressed them in a generic, cliche way, as most people do when they speak of children, calling them "the future" or "hope for tomorrow." Instead, he made note of how many children are suffering the consequences of decisions made by adults.

He was speaking, of course, of the children whose hearts, like Sophie's, are sad.

Sophie: "I have a right to be happy."

Pope Francis:“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Sound familiar? The pope quoted this line from the Declaration of Independence for a reason: a reminder to Congress that we have the unalienable right to pursue happiness here, the land of the American Dream. Sophie knows it too. What would happen if elected officials kept that in mind?

Sophie: "All immigrants just like my dad help feed this country."

Pope Francis:“I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day's work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and — one step at a time — to build a better life for their families. ... These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. "

The pope wasn't speaking exclusively about immigrants here, but he made clear that he was talking to the hardworking people in this country who aren't just taking care of themselves and their families.

He was talking to the many people who are taking care of our entire nation through their work and their concern for others.

And it sounds like Sophie's dad might be in that group.

Sophie: "They deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to live with respect."

Pope Francis:“You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics."

Sophie sounded very clear on this point, and so did the pope: Everyone deserves basic human dignity.

But Pope Francis took it one step further and reminded Congress that their #1 priority should be to protect it. He not only believes that Sophie's parents and all humans deserve dignity — he's making clear whose job it is to ensure that they get it.

In other words, "I got you, Sophie."

Sophie: "My friends and I love each other no matter our skin color."

Pope Francis:"We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good."

Unity, solidarity, and oneness were repeated themes throughout the pope's remarks. He called politics an "expression of our compelling need to live as one" and spoke of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work in the civil rights movement as one of four Americans who exemplified the type of leadership and moral courage we are desperately in need of today.

On this front, little Sophie employed some boldness that the pope (who notably made no reference to race, racial discord, or discrimination) did not. But maybe her edits on his draft got cut for time?



Pope Francis' speech and Sophie's letter are both wonderful reads, so make sure to check them out in their entirety.

While the 5-year-old may not have actually helped write the pope's remarks, it's clear that her letter yesterday went straight to his heart because today, in speaking to Congress and boldly encouraging them to help the vulnerable, welcome the stranger, and protect the American Dream, the pope did exactly what Sophie asked.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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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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This article originally appeared on 08.05.21


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Justice doesn't just explain why the flag is seen as a symbol of racism. He also explains the history of when the flag originated and why flying a Confederate flag makes no sense for people who claim to be loyal Americans.

But that clip, as great as it is, is a small part of the whole story. Knowing how the discussion came about and seeing the full debate in context is even more impressive.

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