By Beverly Keller
The idea to serve the needs of others was important for Garaway Middle School Student Council Advisor Nicole Snyder and, as it turns out, it was also on the list of students who are members of the group.
Socks made it to the top of the list, and rightfully so. You see socks are the most requested and least donated item to homeless shelters and to groups that work with at-risk people across the United States.
According to Chief Sock Person, Tom Costello Jr at The Joy of Sox in Philadelphia, a non-profit aimed at completing an initiative known as 1.2 Million Happy Toes, “Regular donors of coats and pants usually wear their own socks until they have holes in them and throw them away.”
It is this behavior by people in general that have led to a complete shortage of socks for those in need. “The Nation’s homeless population is constantly at risk of serious foot disease and, during the winter months, in severe danger posed by the cold,” Costello Jr. explained. “Many people tell me that socks are the most important clothing item.”
He went on to note to many homeless, no matter their locale, the needs for socks is greater than that of food. “They know where to get food at this place or that place,” Costello explained. “The problem is there is no place to just get socks. They can get coats and hats and gloves, but no socks.”
While there are national sock drives run by giants like Hanes, those donations do not trickle down to the local area like Tuscarawas and Holmes counties. By kicking off a drive in October, the goal is to provide needed socks to the Tuscarawas County Friends of the Homeless Shelter that is the only true homeless shelter that serves Tuscarawas and Holmes counties.
Garaway Middle School Student Council is conducting Socktober – Warm Feet – Warm Hearts. Collection began October 1 and will go through Wednesday, October 31.
There are two public drop-off locations. The first box is at Baker’s IGA located on Andreas Drive in Sugarcreek. The second box is at Baltic State Bank in Baltic located on Main Street.
For Olivia Immel and Hannah Steiner, the drive is important. “Please help us keep these families warm this winter,” they said.
Socks for this drive must be in new condition.
This story originally appeared in the October 3, 2018 edition of The Budget. For more news, pick up a copy of this week’s edition available Wednesdays at area retailers. Better yet, subscribe and the news will be delivered to you each week. For more information, call us at 330-852-4634.