The holiday season might be over, but the generosity of a local school organization has not been tucked away for the next 11 months.
The Glenwood Home and School Association is sponsoring a sock drive for the homeless. Children, parents, guardians, teachers and even people with no ties to Glenwood Elementary School, are encouraged to donate new, unused socks in a collection bin located outside of the school office through Jan. 31.
The drive allows Glenwood families and others help the community’s homeless keep warm this winter in an easy and affordable manner.
Melanie O’Brien, a frequent Greenfield Patch contributor and the secretary of the Glenwood Home and School Association, wanted to do a service project in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16.
“The Glenwood Home and School Association has a goal of creating a sense of community by bringing parents together, working with teachers and staff, and enriching the student experience,” O’Brien said. “The school has been working towards incorporating more service-type projects and this was our idea to tie in service to community with the students' studies of Martin Luther King Jr.
“The GHSA generally raises funds to support the school and runs fun events for the families. We felt that a service project would be another way to draw families, students and the school together with a goal of helping others.”
The drive should also serve as an eye-opener for students and their families, O’Brien said.
“We hope to raise awareness among the children of the homeless community that is not so far away from them,” she said. “By asking for socks, which are relatively inexpensive and easily accessible, it makes the children feel somewhat empowered to help. It is also a way for them to relate, as they wear socks and probably know what it is like to have cold, wet feet.”
According to O’Brien, the ideal socks to donate are adult, white cotton crew or tube socks with reinforced toes and heels, though some children’s sizes are also needed. You can also donate new hats, gloves and hygiene kits consisting of a washcloth, bar of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste.
The association is working with Mr. Bob’s Under the Bridge, an organization started by Bob and Sue Burmeister in the fall of 2009.
Under the Bridge receives donations of clothes, hygiene items, food, and financial assistance. Every week Bob, Sue, and other volunteers sort donated items and put them together in care packages that might consist of a warm coat, hat, gloves, scarves, socks, hygiene items, books, and a snack of some sort.
Care packages are labeled according to size and then distributed to the homeless by Bob and volunteers, who have route they follow in the City of Milwaukee every Sunday starting at Cathedral Square Park and then on to other spots in the heart of the homeless community.
For more information about the sock drive, contact O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-573-8933.