A sock ministry that has grown out of a gift from Bombas
By Doris McLeod, Whitney's Pantry
This does not seem to be the year to experience abundance. Most things seem diminished, lacking, scarce. But I did have an unusual experience of abundance that I want to share with you – I unpacked 1000 pairs of socks! And not for the first time, and not for the last – which is even more amazing. SsJA has been approved for the third year to be a giving-partner for Bombas socks. And they don’t do “small donation” – it means 1000 pair, or more.
Bombas is a trendy sock company that advertises a lot on the internet and sells a lot of socks. But they have an unusual business plan – giving away a pair of socks for each pair sold. The socks that they give are not left-overs, unpopular colors, etc., but socks specifically designed for folks living on the margins of our society. The company consulted with shelters in the design – quick-drying synthetic, all black, comfortable, stretchy, and very sturdy. They must be given, not sold or raffled or whatever.
Whitney’s Pantry offers them every month and Steve Houghton fills his backpack when he goes out on the street, but 1000 pair is a lot of socks. So this year we have reached out to other agencies to offer bags of socks for them to distribute to folks we will never see. We are the only giving-partner in Franklin County, so I contacted the food pantries in West County – Shelburne Falls, Charlemont, and Ashfield. Then Montague Catholic Social Ministries and the Survival Center in Turners Falls.
Then our downstairs neighbors at Tapestry and the Wells St. Shelter and the Living Room. All were surprised (“new socks?”), and very grateful. And when this year’s shipment comes, we’ll do it all over again! Hallelujah!
You may regard your socks as a very minor concern, but that assumes that you have plenty of socks as well as shoes and boots that don’t leak and keep your feet warm.