Socks for seniors

Photo by Kaatje Henrick

Socks made this senior very happy.

Although college students have a hard-enough time finding a matching pair of socks, a group of students is using its fundraising skills to team up with a local company to collect socks for seniors.

SOCKS is an Ontario-wide organization created in 2014 to help people in need. The organization donates to homeless shelters, orphanages, and local organizations.

The organization runs in cities across Ontario. All local communities within those regions collect socks and donate them to people in need.

Local communities host competitions to see who can raise the most socks. Last year, SOCKS collected almost 27,280 pairs of socks. The goal this year is to collect 30,000 pairs.

A group of students from the Gerontology-Activation Co-ordination program at Durham College is running its own SOCKS drive. Students from the program will be in Vendors Alley from Feb. 21-23 collecting socks to donate to seniors in need.

Seniors are more at risk of falling, says Jeweleen Dillion is a student in the group. She says socks with the sticky bottoms would be an excellent type of sock to donate because those socks are safer for seniors as it will allow them not to slip.

The group’s goal is to collect 700 pairs of socks which they will donate to local seniors’ residences., including Cornerstone Community Association Durham, Lakeridge Health and Community Care Durham.

“It’s to give vulnerable seniors a basic need that they can’t afford themselves,” says group member Liane Mateer.

But the students want to raise more than just socks. They also want to raise awareness about the lack of volunteers and the stigma behind seniors living in long-term care homes.

“Just one hour a day can change a person’s life, change their lookout on life,” says Dillion.

The lack of volunteers at local hospitals, senior’s homes and day cares is concerning for these students.

“It’s so shocking to see the miniscule list of volunteers and to think, it’s not a big thing. It just takes a half an hour out of your day to go and sit with someone and chat,” says Dillon.

Mateer says the stigma around seniors needs to end. She says some people believe seniors just sit inside and play bingo, they’re anti-social, or they’re all sick.

These students are passionate about what they want to see from this project. The students will donate 25 per cent of their collection to SOCKS. The rest of the socks will be donated to local seniors.