“It all started with a silly idea: Socks + October = Socktober!”
In October 2011, creator Brad Montague realized there was a large homeless population in his hometown, and he wanted to do something about it. While researching the needs of the homeless community, he learned that socks are the items least donated to homeless shelters. So Brad took action. He began to film himself wishing people “Happy Socktober!” as he gave out pairs of socks on the streets, and he posted these videos on social media. – Socktober
Since working with MEND, I have learned that there are many needs that go beyond food that are requested at food pantries and one of these items is socks. Throughout the month of October, students at Marshall, Seth Boyden and Tuscan Elementary Schools, as well as the YMCA Early Childhood Center, held their own Socktober Sock Drives.
To encourage donations, Marshall School PTA members Jamie Schutz and Jessica Strohmeier created a Sock Monster and students “fed” the monster new socks when they brought their donations to school. Loving the idea of a Sock Monster, Tuscan joined in on the fun creating their own Sock Monster to feed. Socks of all sizes, colors and designs were donated and by the end of October, between all of the schools, they had collected over 3600 pairs of socks!
Sister Linda Klaiss of Pierre Toussaint Food Pantry in Newark said, “Kids helping kids! A wonderful way to involve all of our kids. This is a great project in a real hands-on concrete way that kids can know they are really doing something that matters for someone – even someone they don’t know.. It is the little things that make a difference. Everyone that comes to our pantry leaves with a smile when they have socks for themselves and their families. So many families in our lines have so little. As the winter weather approaches, it pains me to see little children out in the cold with no socks when we just take a pair of socks for granted. Every pair makes a difference. We are so delighted to have these donations from our school children – they represent the spirit of care among our young people and the desire to make a difference in our world. This is where it starts! Many thanks for catching this energy for our pantry neighbors.”
Thank you to everyone who participated. These sock donations will warm the feet of so many. We are so proud of the community and know that the socks will be put to good use.