CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition aired a show last Sunday that indicated that homeless people need warm socks more than anything else – they can’t easily launder them, so they throw them out, they do a lot of walking and wear them out, and they suffer from cold and wet more than the rest of us.
I have a homeless buddy (I give him books) and I never realized how much he needs socks. I thought, surely we can do something to help? So I decided to do a sock drive. My pal Jenn Goldie suggested we do it in the form of a raffle where if you donate a pair of socks you get a raffle ticket. (Or you can buy one for $10, while quantities last!)
Within minutes of announcing our intentions on Twitter, Environics Communications (via my Twitter pal Greg MacEachern) offered to donate a $ 250 gift basket from Fresh Flower Company; Freshii in Westboro had offered to be a drop-off point for donations as had Global Pet Foods in Hintonburg, both thanks to the amazing Karla Briones. (Greg has also offered to sell some tickets for us, as has the wonderful Steve Benson who asked for 50!)
Jenn Goldie set up a Facebook page and also managed to come up with a number of really great gifts — she’s so good at this and people have been crazy generous! See the poster below for the full list of prizes. (I think she even has more than those now — we’ll do one raffle draw with multiple draws for prizes on December 17.)
I hadn’t even had time to print off raffle tickets when fellow realtors started to drop off socks at my office – when I got to work today my mailbox was stuffed full! Lorne Scott donated twelve pairs; Theresa Seguin ten, and Darlene Masson, who also works in our office, donated another eight pairs so we already have 30 pairs and we haven’t even launched! Catherine Duncan, another pal, has been working social media like crazy and scouting out drop-off locations for socks.
Freshii donated four big boxes today that we can use as drop-off bins, which Eric Kalbfleisch, also of our office, picked up for me – thanks, Eric! I bought wrapping paper last night and Theresa will help me to wrap the boxes up tomorrow while Jenn runs around getting our raffle items. I hope to have our gift basket soon and I’ll start posting pictures and promoting the raffle on social media even more relentlessly than I have been, LOL!
Meanwhile, Holland’s Cake and Shake (I adore this little shop and the Pastry Overlord, Michael, who is so kind and always helpful) has offered to be a drop-off spot, as has our MP Catherine McKenna’s office. So we’ll need more bins for sure. Catherine McKenna’s office will also reach out to our PMO to see if Justin Trudeau might donate a pair – I hope he says yes! His socks have become an Internet sensation and I’m pretty sure we could pop them up on e-Bay and do some serious fundraising!
We discovered the Parkdale Food Centre has a Sock & Soups program for their neighbours, regardless of their economic circumstances, so we’re going to send some donations to them, but we hope to also be able to donate to the Mission, which focuses directly on homeless people. (Alissa Campbell, the program Coordinator at Parkdale, says that they really do need women’s and kids’ socks and not just men’s so if you are considering a donation, please keep that in mind!).
We can only issue 500 raffle tickets by law, and I have a sneaking feeling we’re going to end up running out fast. But we’ll keep taking donations of cash and socks, and Sock it to Christmas!!!