Today, as part of the Own Our Ottawa campaign, I am highlighting Sock it to Christmas, an initiative that is collecting socks for those in need this holiday season.
Tell me a little bit about your organization/initiative.
It’s called Sock it to Christmas!
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 and I never realized how much he needs socks, so I decided to do a sock drive and did a shout out for help on Twitter. My pal Jenn Goldie immediately suggested we do it in the form of a raffle where if you donate a pair of socks or pay $10, you get one raffle ticket.
Within minutes of announcing our intentions, Environics Communications had 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. By Thursday, we had drop-in bins at both locations and at my office, Royal LePage Team Realty on Carling – we’ll have two more: one at Holland Cake and Shake and one in your office soon but those two will just be accepting sock donations and not issuing raffle tickets or cash.
We learned that Parkdale Food Centre has a Soup and Socks program throughout December so we’re going to send some of our donations their way, but also donate to the Mission, which specifically targets the homeless. (Parkdale doesn’t distinguish those to whom it offers programs that way: all people are considered their neighbours, which I think is lovely.)
Jenn 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! For just one example, Julie Broczkowski of the Magic Kitchen dropped by my office and donated 33 pairs of socks this week!
We’ve had two Scout troops offer to conduct sock drives under our umbrella and Critter Jungle at Hampton Park, which was doing its own “one pair of socks for a raffle ticket” sock drive, is joining up with us as well. And all of that has happened in less than a week!
Why do you think it’s important to #OwnOurOttawa?
I think the lovely thing about Ottawa has always been its sense of community. All of us have had cold or wet feet; we all know what that feels like. So this has really struck a chord with people. And in these bleak times, I think people really want to help. This is something that makes the donors, and donees, feel better, and see what a great place Ottawa is to live in.
If someone wants to get involved or get more information, where can they go?
We have a Sock it for Christmas Facebook page they can follow, or they can check out my blog, Kiss and Sell, for more information – I’m doing updates every couple of days. As someone said, this thing has turned into a tornado! https://peggyblairrealtor.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/sock-it-to-christmas/
And they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if they want to do their own sock drive, or make a donation—cash is just as welcome as socks.