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After the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles were uninvited from their scheduled visit to the White House in early June 2018, star safety Malcolm Jenkins decided to try something different when asked by the media about player protests.

He greeted them with silence — instead answering questions with a series of signs.


"YOU AREN'T LISTENING," he wrote in all caps. And to be fair, there's good reason to believe they aren't.

Nearly two years after Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality, some people still don't get the message, wrongly believing that the gesture was intended as a show of disrespect toward the national anthem, the flag, the military, the police, or some combination thereof.

For almost a year now, President Donald Trump has been railing against the league and players who have dared to participate in protests under this false pretense.

It's no wonder that Jenkins — who devotes his free time to visiting prisons, working to improve police-community engagement, and speaking with lawmakers about racial injustice — is sick of having to answer basic questions of what these protests are all about.

Rodney McLeod, Malcolm Jenkins, and Chris Long stand during the national anthem at an October 2017 game. No member of the team kneeled in protest during the 2017 season. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images.

With poster board and a marker, Jenkins got his message out, focusing on the issues.

"More than 60% of people in prison are people of color," read one of his signs. "Nearly 200,000 juveniles enter the adult criminal system each year, most for non-violent crimes. #StopSchoolPipelineToPrison," read another.

Image from Malcolm Jenkins/Twitter.

On other cards, he played up the off-field work he, his teammates, and friends do to support their causes: the million dollars Kaepernick has given to charity, Chris Long's massive donation to education, and Ben Watson's and Demario Davis' work for voting rights with Louisiana House Bill 265.

Image from Malcolm Jenkins/Twitter.

There's a lot of injustice in the world, and Jenkins is using his platform to try to help. His attitude should be one to emulate, not scorn.

The day of the scheduled White House visit, Jenkins outlined some of his frustrations with the media's tendency to frame NFL players as "anti-America, anti-flag and anti-military."

"It takes empathy and time to listen to others' experiences that may be different than your own,"he wrote. "It takes courage to stand up for the TRUTH even if it's not a popular one."

He's putting in the work to try to help people who don't have it so easy. He's using his voice (or, in this case, his marker) to lift up the concerns of people society often ignores. He's doing the work we'd all be proud to see our family, neighbors, and elected officials doing.

So why is Jenkins being slammed as ungrateful and spoiled?

Maybe he's right: People aren't listening. It's time they started. We could all learn a lot from his example.

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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