Students help keep feet of needy warm this winter
Led by Baldwin Road Junior High School's choir, students in Reynoldsburg schools have collected more than 2,000 pairs of socks for local residents in need.
The choir had been singing a song called "The Christmas Sock Rock" with the lyrics "oh no, more socks for Christmas," Director Janet Benedict said.
"One of my students, Brookklin Brown, raised her hand and said 'Mrs. Benedict, last night I saw a story on the news about this little girl. She saw this homeless man and wanted to give him her socks and now she started this big campaign to collect socks for the homeless,'" Benedict said.
The little girl was Hannah Turner, who at the age of 4 inspired her parents to create the charity, Hannah's Socks.
According to the charity's Web site, on Thanksgiving Day in 2004, Hannah and her mother, Doris, were helping to serve food to the needy at Toledo's Cherry Street Mission.
Hannah noticed a man wearing ragged shoes and no socks.
"Mommy, won't his feet be cold?" Hannah asked.
Hannah wanted to give the man her socks, but Doris discouraged her, the Web site said.
The next day, the Turners began gathering socks to donate to local shelters. That year, they were able to collect 100 pairs, according to the Web site.
The goal for 2009 was to collect 60,000 pairs. The charity's Web site said it will post the final tally soon.
Hannah's story inspired Benedict's class to become involved.
"We talked about how many things we take for granted, such as having clean, warm socks," Benedict said. "We wanted to show that we do more than just sing, although we feel that is very important, too."
The choir set a goal to collect 400 pairs of socks, Benedict said.
"I then sent e-mails to all the other staff members in our district and got many other schools involved," Benedict said.
The students at Baldwin Road collected 583 pairs of socks, Benedict said.
The total for the entire district was 2,334 pairs of socks plus 139 pairs of underwear, Benedict said.
According to the Hannah's Socks Web site, at shelters "new socks and undergarments are given the least and needed the most."
Socks are something most people take for granted, Benedict said.
"If you are homeless, socks are really important. They are even used as mittens when needed," Benedict said.
The Baldwin Road Choir donated its collection to three different shelters: The Open Shelter, Faith Mission and Shepherd's Place.
"I think our choir here at Baldwin Road has spearheaded an amazing thing and our Reynoldsburg students and staff have really stepped up to the plate to help others," Benedict said.
For more information on Hannah's Socks, visit hannahssocks.org.