By Sean Meyer
Considering there are few things as miserable as cold and wet feet, it isn’t surprising the Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness in London annually gives out at least 10,000 pairs of socks.
Buying that many socks, however, carries with it a significant cost. With that in mind, students from Brescia University College — along with Western University and its other affiliate schools — have come together to make a significant donation.
Brescia’s chapter of the Canadian Association of Food Professionals (CAFP) delivered a donation in excess of 3,760 pairs of socks to the Unity Project on April 9, the results of a student-led Sock Drive.
Sock Drive events at Brescia included everything from trivia games to bake sales on other interactive activities.
“It is very exciting the London community, especially the Western community, were so interested in partaking in the events we held to make this donation possible,” said Joby Quiambao, who helped lead the local effort. “Once the awareness started to come out, more and more people realized it was for a good cause. They would come to bring socks even if they couldn’t partake in events because they had classes, they would still come and drop them off throughout the year.”
The Sock Drive initiative originally began at the Toronto CAFP branch three years ago, but has grown to the point where 14 student campuses across Canada have joined in.
It would seem London has heard the call the loudest, at least according to the sheer numbers collected.
Amanda Hunt, CAFP Brescia president-elect and national campaign co-organizer, said the London achievement is all the more impressive considering the size of the campus.
“London’s effort is the biggest based on last year’s numbers. Definitely the biggest as the next largest was Centennial (in Toronto) with around 1,200 pairs of socks,” Hunt said. “Brescia campus is very small compared to the Western community. We have around 1,300 students there and the sock numbers are 3,760 pairs of socks. So it is really a great effort for sure.”
Hunt said Sock Drive is so important because if people don’t have dry, warm feet, “it is just a miserable existence.”
It was a point Langer agreed with wholeheartedly.
People who are experiencing homelessness, Langer said, are often on their feet a lot and with limited capacity to carry belongings around with them. So, a fresh pair of socks is really important.
Langer’s estimation that Unity Project “could easily distribute 10,000 pairs of socks in a year,” speaks to how great the need is.
The donation, Langer said, represents approximately five months of making sure people have warm feat.
“When we have donations of this kind, it serves not only the direct need, immediate need, of the people who come here for crisis support, it also relieves our budget. Now we have funds to spend on other things,” Langer said. “A pair of socks doesn’t end homelessness, but it created the capacity in which we can work towards that goal. It really does contribute in a significant way.”
The CAFP Sock Drive ran from Jan. 1 to March 31.
source: London Community News