During the season of flip-flops and sandals, socks aren’t something that often come to mind, but they’re important year-round to people who live on the streets.
To ensure clean socks are available to those who spend their time walking just about everywhere they need to go, City Mission is participating in a nationwide sock drive for the homeless, in conjunction with the soon-to-be-released Disney movie, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” and the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, a group of more than 275 rescue missions in North America.
The family-friendly film, slated to be released Aug. 15, tells the story of a married couple who is eager to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. In their yard, they bury a box that contains slips of paper listing the attributes they imagine their child would have, and one stormy night, a muddy boy shows up on their doorstep.
The correlation between the movie and a sock drive is hard to decipher from the movie trailer, but Timothy Green, the young boy played by CJ Adams, is shown wearing colorful socks to hide vines that appear to be growing from his legs.
Although the movie has a fanciful story line, the issue the sock drive addresses is a serious one. Elizabeth Chamberlain, development director at City Mission, said that foot issues involving infection and fungus are common among the people the shelter serves, in part because of a lack of clean, moisture-wicking socks.
Other issues contributing to foot problems in the homeless include unaddressed health problems, inadequate footwear and feet that are exposed for hours to extreme heat and cold, she said.
A clean pair of cotton socks is one of the first things given to clients when they come to City Mission, Chamberlain noted.
Early this month, City Mission began placing colorful cardboard sock collection bins at locations throughout the area, including the SEFCU on State Street, Anthology Studio, the Paul Mitchell School, the Schaffer Heights apartment building, Bow Tie Cinemas and several local churches. Additional locations are being sought for the drive, which will run through Sept. 3.
“People living in poverty, they don’t always have the luxury of a brand new, nice pair of socks. I think it would be a nice blessing for anyone in need,” said Tammy Longo, who is coordinating the drive for City Mission.
Those interested in placing a collection box at a local church or business can contact Longo at 346-2275, extension 310.
New, cotton socks for men, women and children can be dropped off at City Mission or at any locations with a collection bin.
All of the socks collected during the drive will be given to people in need who live in Schenectady.
Hanes will match donations, up to 10,000 pairs of socks.