Helping Others…With Socks

By Cheryl Mahoney

I love “giving back” stories about kids.  You might know that.  The blogging team here definitely knows it.  In fact, I learned about my story for today from fellow blogger Anis, who passed it on to me because she knows I like that kind of post.

Today’s story starts with socks.  How often do you think about socks?  Shoes are a big deal for some people, but I don’t think most think much about socks.  I don’t.  At least, not until we don’t have them, and then suddenly socks matter.  And unfortunately, socks matter to a lot of people living on the street or living in shelters.  When is the last time you went past a homeless person and looked to see if they had any socks?  I confess I don’t do that either.

But Hannah did.

In 2004, Hannah was four years old and volunteering with her mother at a Thanksgiving dinner for the needy.  Hannah noticed a man whose split shoes revealed his lack of socks, and she was concerned that his feet would be cold.  Her mother, not wanting her to worry, assured her that he’d be fine with his shoes.  Unconvinced, Hannah suggested that he could have her socks.

The next day, Hannah and her mother started buying and giving out socks at local shelters.  Since then, more than 150,000 pairs of socks have been given through Hannah’s Socks.

My favorite part of this story is the simplicity of Hannah’s offer.  Adults get tangled up in the practicalities, the ramifications, the details.  I do that.  Everyone at the meal was busy serving food, how would you get socks at that moment, a four-year-old’s socks wouldn’t help a grown man much anyway, of course she needed them herself…and cutting through all of that was a child’s simple, profound view.  Someone needed help, and she wanted to help.

And you can help too.  This year, Hannah’s Socks has a goal of giving 60,000 pairs of socks.  They’re approaching 52,000 right now.  Needless to say, that’s a lot of socks.  And you can help them give more.  Find out how you can send socks, or donate to help them spread their reach.  Don’t get tangled up in the practicalities of it.  Just do it.  While I don’t normally believe in trumpeting my own charitable activities, I think this time it’s appropriate to note that…I did.  🙂  And I got a very nice email back from Hannah and her mother, thanking me for the donation.  Try it yourself and see.


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