College Mentors for Kids, Alacritas and AU’s chapter of To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) are taking sock donations as a part of a nationwide donation movement called ‘Socktober’.
During October, students can drop off new or slightly used socks in any of the five boxes around campus.
There are boxes on the valley side of Hartung Hall, the valley side of the Marketplace, the bottom of Decker Hall, the lobby of York Performance Hall and outside the 24-hour lab in the Nicholson Library.
This year, AU was invited to participate through Anderson Elementary School, whose goal is to raise 2,500 pairs of socks. As of October 11th, AU had raised 116 pairs of socks which will go towards that goal.
College Mentors for Kids, which is led by sophomore, Trey Witted, is an on-campus program for first through sixth grade students. AU students get paired up one-on-one with an elementary student to do activities.
Witted believes Socktober aligns with the mission of College Mentors for Kids which he describes as helping members of the community and inspiring kids to see what college is like.
He said, “We mainly deal with the kids in the community, but this is more. I mean everyone has feet. Everyone has to wear socks.”
Alacritis is a social service club on campus. It is all females and promotes sisterhood through various service projects they do. Sam Kitchens, a junior elementary education major, serves as the President.
Kitchens has felt a call to participate in events like Socktober since she took a community service class in high school. She said, “I’ve always wanted to give back to the community because, honestly, I enjoy it.”
TWLOHA, a national resource for mental health, is headed up by Audra Gilman, a senior elementary education major. AU’s chapter of TWLOHA meets at the beginning of every week to debrief about the past week and look forward to the coming week. They do activities together to build community and provide further resources if people decide they would like them.
The purpose of Socktoberfest is to fill a need in the community during the winter months. Gilman said, “A lot of people who are homeless or financially struggling during the colder months really, really struggle with keeping warm and having some good shelter. Socktober just aims to help take some of the stress away from all of that.”
Gilman says another purpose for Socktober is to “give them a bit of hope and let them know that there is a community that supports them and wants them to stick around and be there and that they’re loved and valued.”
Kitchens said, “It’s nice to see that people are actually giving back because one of our pillars is community and service to the community and we don’t see that very often. So it’s really nice to actually see it happening.”
Socktober continues through October 31st; however, Witted, Gilman and Kitchens encourage the cause to stretch beyond the month.
Witted said, “It’s just a unique thing…It’s about socks, but it’s also just about donating. It’s about opening the door to helping people in general.”