Socks, mittens, and hats are often the most needed and requested items at homeless shelters yet they are among the least often donated. In response, Harford County government, Harford County Public Library and the nonprofit Wecancerve are partnering this October for “SOCKtober”, a countywide donation drive seeking new socks, hats, mittens and gloves of all sizes for local citizens in need.
SOCKtober is timed in October to help raise awareness about homelessness in Harford County before the winter months, and to provide items that are in high demand among the most vulnerable populations. Homeless individuals are constantly at risk of serious foot disease and, during winter months, in severe danger posed by the cold. The need is substantial. Last year Harford County government and its nonprofit partners served 3,213 persons at-risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.
Items donated during SOCKtober will be distributed to individuals served by the Harford County Department of Housing and Community Development, Harford Community Action Agency, local shelters and veteran’s organizations. Collection boxes will be located in Harford County buildings, libraries, and participating businesses throughout the month of October. For a list of available locations, please visit http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7624.
To encourage SOCKtober donations, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and Grace Callwood, 11-year-old founder of Wecancerve, made a video now available on Harford County government’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwytqZBMfSE&feature=youtu.be. The video includes guest appearances from sock puppets voiced by Rouse and Company personalities Steve Rouse and Tracy Hart of radio station WQLL (Q1370-AM and 99.9-FM.)
“We are grateful to have support from Grace and her Wecancerve organization, our libraries, and the new Rouse and Company for our SOCKtober effort,” said County Executive Barry Glassman. “We hope to raise awareness and collect more than 1,000 pairs of socks, hats, mittens and gloves for our neighbors in need before the weather turns cold.”
“Shooting the video was fun,” said Grace Callwood. “My team at Wecancerve is excited to help fill collection boxes and keep everyone warm this winter.”
Grace created Wecancerve when she received an abundance of clothes and toys after a diagnosis of lymphoma and decided to donate them to children at Harford Family House. Grace is now cancer-free, and has grown her foundation and its mission to include various initiatives that support children and families in Maryland. Grace has been recognized nationally for her dedication to public service. To learn more, visit http://www.wecancerve.org/.
Several community organizations have already pledged their support for SOCKtober, including the Dance Ministry at St. James AME Church in Havre de Grace and the Rhoer Club, a teen girls club from Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. If your company, organization, or school would like to participate, please visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/services.