JFCS of Suncoast collecting socks for homeless veterans and at-risk youth

Initiative underway through Oct. 14

“No one should have to go without a clean, dry pair of socks each day but homeless people usually don’t have a choice,” a

JFCS of the Suncoast news release points out.

The nonprofit “is kicking off Sock It To Us, a donation drive seeking socks for struggling veterans, as well as other homeless people and at-risk youth, the release explains.

The collection period began on Sept. 19 and will run through Oct. 14, the release notes. “The socks will be distributed in November in honor of Veterans Day and will go to JFCS’ Veterans Services clients, Family Services clients, and others in need,” the release says.

Homeless people often spend their days on the move and usually are not able to wash their socks, the release continues. “Unlike other articles of clothing that can be worn many days in a row, socks quickly become dirty and tattered, which can lead to discomfort, health concerns and shame,” the release points out.

“JFCS is collecting thick, comfortable socks for daily wear. White is the number one choice among the homeless community. Dress socks are also needed to help employment-seekers dress professionally and feel confident during job interviews,” the release adds.

“Please consider helping JFCS get the Sarasota and Manatee homeless community back on its feet,” said Sheila Birnbaum, a JFCS volunteer and the creator of the Sock It To Us campaign, in the release. “Clean, warm socks are priceless to them,” Birnbaum added in the release. “It may seem trivial to many people,” she continued, “but socks are the most requested item by our homeless, veterans and children in need. Let’s come together to bring them comfort and dignity as they go to school, seeks jobs and housing, and try to improve their lives.”

Community members can help by taking the following actions, the release says:

  • “Donating new socks in a variety of sizes for men, women and children. Socks can be purchased in multi-packs or individually.
  • “Making an online donation, which will allow JFCS staff to purchase additional socks. Follow this link and choose ‘Sock It To Us’ in the drop-down menu:https://tinyurl.com/bdzee89s.
  • “Starting a donation drive at their churches, offices, schools, or social clubs.”
  • Mailing socks directly to the JFCS main office: 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237. “Please mark all deliveries in care of the Outreach Team/Sock It To Us.”
  • Dropping off donations at the JFCS office Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., through Oct. 14.

The priorities are as follows, the release adds:

  • “White, cotton crew socks with reinforced toes and heels for men and women.
  • “Black dress socks for men.
  • “Athletic socks for children.”

Before dropping off collected socks, the public is asked to separate men’s, women’s, boys’, girls’ and unisex socks into different bags and to label each bag with the type and quantity, the release says.

For more information or to schedule a delivery, a person may contact Karen Pharo, director of community outreach, by calling or texting 941-400-6685 or by sending an email to kpharo@jfcs-cares.org.