It was Jan 1, 2015, the first day of a new year. I had gotten off work earlier that morning from working a New Years Eve show the night before. It was a cold day and as I started my day I began my normal routine, eat breakfast, shower and get dressed. As I was putting on a new pair of socks that I got for Christmas, like I had done so many times before, I thought to myself, “This is one of the best feelings on the earth.” I mean, who doesn’t love the feeling of a pair of new socks?
As I put the socks on an overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me. I was just so thankful for new socks, and I kept thinking, “I am so lucky to be able to have these new socks!” Sounds a bit over the top for a pair of socks, right? I thought so too, until I began thinking about all the homeless men, women and children who don’t have the luxury of putting on new socks very often, if ever.
So that sparked an idea.
In 11 days it was going to be my birthday. My family always asks me what I want and I often tell them either “nothing” or “I don’t know,” which drives them crazy. So I thought, “What if this year I ask them for socks and donate them?” I had always had compassion and a desire to help the homeless, but up until then, I had never really done anything about it. As I thought about it more, I started to dream bigger. I decided to reach out to my Facebook friends to see if anyone else would want to help, and I set a goal to raise 400 pairs of socks in 10 days.
As the days went on, messages poured into my Facebook account. People were wanting to be a part of it and were sending socks in from all over the United States. Within days, we had blown by my goal of 400 pairs of socks. I also began doing research on places to donate to in the Orange County area, I really wanted to effect my local community. That led me to Mary’s Kitchen, a place where the homeless could get 2 meals, a shower and some supplies. I loved the story of this organization, and so I decided I would donate the socks there.
At the end of the 10 days we had collected 1,500 pairs of socks. I knew that I just didn’t want to give the homeless community a pair of socks, but also wanted to encourage them. So before we delivered them, my friends and family got together and we packaged 2 pairs of socks in a ziploc baggy with a note inside for each person who was to receive the socks. Our second year we had a goal to donate 5,000 pairs of socks and we exceeded that goal and donated 5,077 pairs. This is our 3rd year and we have donated over 3,100 pairs of socks so far this year, well on our way to our goal of 10,000!
Socks are the most needed and least donated item to homeless shelters, and I’ve decided I want to help with that.
I have made a commitment to this newly-discovered, life-long passion of mine. Each year on my birthday, I will be collecting socks and donating them to Mary’s Kitchen. This year we are looking to work as a giving partner with the sock company Bombas, and partnering with more local homeless shelters.
If you would like to know more or donate socks you can find out how at:
Article contributed by Scott Clement, the founder of Socked.org