Sock it to the homeless! The simple way you can make a big difference
If you're looking for something to give a homeless person that you know he or she would use and need — give that person socks!
Caroline Scherrer, co-founder of People For the Poor, told me "Project Hope gives medical care to over 3,000 homeless people. The executive director told me that some of her patients wear the same pair of socks every day for a year! The physicians have to then peel the socks from their feet — plus, a lot of their homeless are diabetic and wearing socks which have holes in them (and) cause blisters, which is a dangerous medical condition for them."
People for The Poor is an organization that gives 100 percent of its donations to help the homeless and hungry of South Jersey.
"Last year," Scherrer said, "I was dropping off pies to the Homeless Shelter for our Vets the day before Thanksgiving, and one gentleman saw a pack of socks in my trunk as he was helping unload the pies and asked if he could have them. I gabbed the pack and as I was handing it to him I noticed that they were women's socks. 'I don't care, I need socks!'"
One former homeless man was speaking at a social justice class in January (there was snow on the ground) and said that if he were given a choice between a brand new warm coat and a pack of socks, he would take the socks every time because when your feet hurt, your whole body hurts.
Socks are very important, and no one thinks twice in the morning as they are getting dressed and grab a pair from the drawer. I can't wear the same pair of socks two days in a row! A warm pair of socks keep your feet warm in the winter, keep the feet from getting blisters, etc.
Bottom line: Something as simple as a pair of socks gives some dignity to a homeless person. They're needed and medically helpful — and socks with holes just remind homeless people of their difficult situation. Keep that in mind and socks in your car, especially now since it's getting colder!
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