Community Partnerships Result In Socktober Success

 on December 22, 2022

The Helper Bees at the Church of the Apostles in Guelph set a lofty goal of collecting 4,000 pairs of socks for the community through our 2022 Socktober Campaign. Thanks to many different churches, organizations, and individuals across the city, the Helper Bees achieved their goal!

The socks will be distributed by the Helper Bees community partner, Your Downtown Guelph Friends, throughout the winter.

“This is our second year of running the Socktober program in Guelph,” said John Dennis, Helper Bees coordinator. “As an individual parish, we could never collect this many socks, but by partnering with many groups and working together to get the word out to the community, we reached our goal.”

Socks were collected at the Church of the Apostles, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Kortright Presbyterian Church, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, Dublin Street United Church, the Guelph Tool Library, Jobs Opportunities Enterprise Program, Rivermill Condos, the 23rd Guelph Spark Unit, and the River of Life Church. There were also many donations from community members who read about the campaign on social media, in our local papers, or through the weekly emails from Guelph Member of Provincial Parliament Mike Schreiner.

The Reverend John Borthwick noted that, “St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Guelph was delighted to participate in Socktober this year. We know that the need is great in our community and to ensure that the guests of Your Downtown Guelph Friends would keep their feet warm and dry over the winter was something that we wanted to do without hesitation. It is always good to partner with community organizers and other faith communities, like Church of the Apostles, to make a difference in our City. We are better together.”

Tanya Murphy, a special education resource teacher from St. Francis Catholic School, added “We ran our Sock Drive for Grades 4-8 with some of the teachers in Grade 6-8 making it a class competition to see who could bring in the most socks for the Sock Drive. I feel that teaching kids to help others in the City of Guelph shows them that little things like a clean pair of warm socks can make a difference in someone’s life.”

According to a study from Dalhousie University, socks and warm dry feet make a huge difference for those who are
homeless. Foot-related complications are highly prevalent, with up to two thirds of people reporting health concerns relating to their feet.
Approximately one quarter of individuals visit a health professional, and one fifth of individuals require further follow up due to the severity of their condition.

Your Downtown Guelph Friends Director Kat Nixon said, “For those who are in our downtown community, their lives can be filled with a lot of fear, worry and discomfort … While we know that socks won’t heal all wounds and fix our community rises, we do know that the symbolism of many different communities of faith, walks of life, educational groups, programs, and community members coming together to address this need in our community shows that Guelph cares about our people. Socktober provides not only warmth to the feet but hopefully warmth to people’s hearts for them to know that people are thinking of them this winter in some of their greatest adversity.”

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