Big news: we’ve officially collected 1000 pairs of socks! I picked up several right before the holidays and another was dropped off last week. Thank you so much to our friends at WEA Trust, Create-ability, Middleton High School, UWHC, and the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association! Your efforts are very much appreciated! With winter now firmly upon us, I am very grateful to be able to provide homeless children and adults with an extra layer of safety for their toes, and comfort for their whole bodies. So far we’ve gotten 601 total pairs out to Santas Without Chimneys and MACH OneHealth, and are just waiting to hear that either they’re ready for more, or that another organization is in need. We currently have lots of ankle socks in adult sizes in white and medium-weight socks of all styles in black. We are happy to hold on to them until springtime, but if your organization can use them now, please be in touch!
I’m so excited to announce the results from our very first collection! Sun Prairie Schools‘ Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School did FANTASTIC work with their sock drive! They collected a total of 356 pairs of socks, and I hear some of the other SP schools got in on it too and I’ll be having more to pick up! The white socks will be going to MACH OneHealth for their street medicine program and foot care clinic (white is good for them because it doesn’t mask any discharge issues), and the colorful ones will be going to Santas Without Chimneys for distribution next month to children experiencing homelessness in and around Madison.
We need to talk about our sock problem.
Think about your own feet for a moment. Hopefully they’re feeling pretty good! Not too cold, not sunburned, generally dry and clean. Now imagine that, whatever you’re currently wearing on them (or last did), you can’t change it for the next week. No matter what you do, where you step or how uncomfortable you get, you have to leave your feet as they are currently dressed. You might walk through muddy puddles in gym shoes or piles of snow in slippers, you might get blisters, but you don’t have anything else to change into so you just have to keep wearing what you have. Gets pretty gross fast, huh?
Currently, our supply of clean and dry socks is excessively concentrated among those who already have them. People who have regular access to laundry equipment, people who are able to take off their shoes without worrying about them being stolen, people who have homes. Meanwhile, those without shelter are suffering from entirely preventable foot maladies and diseases simply because they lack regular access to fresh socks. We can fix that! Agencies doing the work of distributing supplies to homeless individuals already exist, but they lack resources. They lack socks.
Madison Sock Exchange has two major goals:
- To solicit donations of NEW socks in any quantity, size, or style
- To distribute said socks to local agencies that will pass them along to people in need
That’s it! Right now, we’re imagining community sock drives, sock collection bins around the city, maybe even a corporate sponsor eventually, but what we really need is YOU. We need your awareness of the sock deficit, and your commitment to help redistribute the sock wealth.
Please check out our volunteer page to see some suggestions about how you could help. If you have any questions or want to get more involved, please contact us at MSE@madisonsock.exchange . Thank you!