Most of us take socks for granted. After all, they have been in existence since the 8th Century. The earliest socks were originally fashioned with matted animal fur and some type of rope. By the 10th Century, they were hand-woven thus very time-consuming to make, and considered a luxury item.
Fast forward to our present time, clean, fresh warm socks are still a luxury item for individuals who are homeless. In fact they are among the items most requested by homeless shelters, which is why Community West Foundation (CWF) collects socks and other donations year-round to distribute to all the shelters in North East Ohio.
As many of you know, the 8 West Shore Senior Centers joined forces to promote the CWF SocksPlus campaign. After a couple months of sock collecting, our collaborative gathered approximately 4,000 pairs of socks! The irony of this number is that it equals the estimated number of people who are homeless in Cuyahoga County every night (according to the North East Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, 2011 estimates). It is humbling to think that this volume of socks could be distributed so quickly, but warming to know that each and every pair brings comfort to someone.
In Westlake, we had several school groups, Girl Scout troops and companies embrace this campaign. They conducted their own sock drives. We also hosted a senior citizen sock-hop dance, where the price of admission was…..you guessed it, a pair of socks. The sock hop theme was perfect for our homecoming luncheon dance. It was a great deal of fun too, as participants brought in their high school photos to share.
While the West Shore Senior Center’s sock drive is on recess, we want to remind you that donations can be made year-round to Community West Foundation. In the meantime, we want to thank everyone who participated in the 2017 campaign. In the words of Greek philosopher, Aesop, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”, and that is true for each and every new pair of socks. Poor Aesop by the way must have had cold feet because he was around BEFORE socks.