Interim HealthCare of the Central Valley is collecting socks and other items for Fresno’s homeless population in their SOCKtober 2018 event.
Sep 28, 2018 /prREACH/ -- Fresno, California – The SOCKtober event was born in 2015 when Lucie, an Interim HealthCare Registered Nurse, was scrolling through her Facebook feed and came across a photo of a man holding a sign which said, “Socks are the most needed but least donated article of clothing in homeless shelters.” Realizing how such a simple item could make such a big difference in someone's life, Lucie immediately put her kindness into action, forwarding the post to Interim HealthCare of the Central Valley Administrator, Sarah Ahmed. Always eager to find new ways to contribute to the community, Sarah was immediately on-board with Lucie’s idea of sponsoring a Sock Drive and SOCKtober was born! Within just a few days the socks began pouring in from the office team, field staff, community partners, and referral sources.
That first year, the estimated number of unsheltered homeless people in Fresno County was 1,183, so that number became the goal; to collect at least one pair of new socks for each homeless person in Fresno. Word-of-mouth and Facebook postings garnered lots of attention, and Interim’s Business Development Team reached out to their community partners with great success, some facilities donating as many as 100 pairs! There was such an overwhelming response that the Sock Drive deadline was extended not once, but twice that year, as the socks just kept coming. At the end of SOCKtober 2015, Interim HealthCare had surpassed their goal, collecting 1,234 pairs of brand-new socks for the homeless in the community.
In 2016, SOCKtober was expanded to collect not just socks, but warm hats, gloves, and scarves. Once again, the response from the community was tremendous with more than 1,500 items being collected, including dozens of handmade hats and scarves donated by local fiber-crafters. But by 2017, the need was greater than ever. Surveys indicated a 19% increase in the homeless population in the Fresno area that year, estimating well over 1,500 homeless individuals living in Fresno, the vast majority being unsheltered.
Those staggering statistics made SOCKtober 2017 even more significant than previous years, and ultimately 2017 became the most successful SOCKtober ever, with 1,350 pairs of socks, 172 hats, 108 scarves, 91 pairs of gloves, and 19 assorted items such as sweaters and umbrellas- a total of 1,740 items- collected! Shelter workers at the Poverello House and Fresno Rescue Mission were incredibly grateful, explaining that they can never keep enough pairs of socks in-stock and the socks typically donated are mismatched and used. A pair of new socks can make all the difference to someone when they are homeless, especially as winter begins to set in. The warmth and passion of these volunteers and their excitement at being able to provide such a seemingly small item to those who truly need it is genuinely uplifting. Interim HealthCare is proud to sponsor and participate in the SOCKtober event and hopes to collect over 2,000 pairs of socks this year.
To contact Interim HealthCare for donations or drop off locations, please contact (559) 224-0560.
About Interim HealthCare: For over 50 years, Interim HealthCare has provided loved ones with compassionate and professional home care. With over 300 locations throughout the United States, our nurses, therapists, aides, companions and other healthcare professionals provide a wide range of services including Home Health and Personal Care and Support. Interim HealthCare’s mission is to improve people’s lives through a broad range of home care expertise, trained professionals offering comprehensive home care and supportive services that are cost-effective and highly personalized.