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Elementary schools participating in sock collection drive for people without housing

Zachary D'Amico

Hampton Township School District’s three elementary schools are working together on a sock collection drive to help people who are homeless in the Pittsburgh area. 

The idea for the collection drive originated with Poff Elementary School’s JAMbethekindkid club while brainstorming ways to help people in need. 

Poff second-grade teacher Marilyn Adams, who runs the school’s JAMbethekindkid club, said the group settled on helping homeless shelters. She said one student noted that socks are the number one item requested by homeless shelters. 

Adams began researching organizations that the club could donate to when she came across Socks with a Mission, a nonprofit organization founded by a fourth-grade student at Upper St. Clair. In 2021 alone, Socks with a Mission distributed nearly 19,000 pairs of socks in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, according to the organization’s website. 

“I thought that was a really cool opportunity for our kids to be inspired by another student,” Adams said. 

The sock collection drive kicked off at Poff, Wyland, and Central Elementary Schools on Jan. 24 and runs through Feb. 4. Each school is asking for new in package pairs of socks. Collection bins are located in the lobby of each school. All sizes – for men, women, and children – are being requested. 

“This sock drive is important because people who are homeless need socks to keep their feet warm,” said Poff Elementary School second-grader Leah Martorelli. “They might get frostbite. New socks will cheer them up.”

Adams said the goal is to collect more than 1,000 pairs of socks between the three schools. Students are participating in a “Crazy Sock Day” to promote the collection drive on Jan. 28. 

Once sorted between men’s, women’s, and children, the pairs of socks will be counted and distributed to shelters and homeless service providers throughout the city of Pittsburgh and nearby communities.

“Something special about this sock collection is the collaboration among all three buildings,” Adams said.  "This is the first time we've worked together on a project and That makes it all the more special.”

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