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Apr. 1, 2020 | Wednesday
Local News
$2 sock program supports people in need
Donations can be made at Avondale food stores across Niagara. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now)

In just one week, the Niagara-on-the-Lake community helped provide more than 300 pairs of socks to keep those in need warm during the winter season.

Avondale Food Stores across Niagara are accepting donations for the Socks for Change charity, whose goal is to provide 35,000 pairs of socks and 50,000 winter accessories for someone in need in Niagara.

Since Virgil’s Avondale started the sale on Feb. 14, area residents have bought 330 pairs of socks for $2 each.

Store manager Kathy Brown said she was overwhelmed by the community support.

“I’m blown away by what they’ve done,” she told The Lake Report.

“It’s a good cause. I can’t believe people are coming in buying five (pairs) at a time, 10 at a time. It’s amazing, it’s just blowing me away.”

Donations help provide wool socks and winter accessories such as toques and scarves to more than 70 shelters and charitable organizations in Niagara. 

Donations also go to the Niagara Regional Police cruisers and EMS ambulances as well as more than 150 elementary and secondary schools under the public, Catholic and French Catholic school boards.

The charity was first started by West49 founder Sam Baio in 2019.

“Homelessness is a problem but it only represents less than one per cent of those in poverty,” Baio said in a statement.

“Of course, we want to provide warm socks, toques, scarves and neck tubes to those who are homeless but we also want to serve those with homes who may need extra help to stay warm during the cold winter months.”

More than 30,335 pairs of socks and 54,750 winter accessories have been so far donated this season. All socks are made in Canada.

In NOTL, socks went to Niagara Workers Welcome, Crossroads Public School and St. Michael Catholic Elementary School, according to the charity’s website.

A pair can be bought for only $2, a bundle of 10 pairs for $20 or a bundle of 25 pairs for $50.

Brown’s goal is to sell 500 pairs and she is positive town residents will help the store to surpass its goal.

After the word spread on Facebook groups about the initiative, more people became aware and “it has just taken off,” Brown said. One person in Toronto even e-transferred the money to buy 10 pairs, she added.

“It’s a great town. It really is,” Brown said.

Those who donate can leave their names on a special card that will be displayed at the store.

“It’s amazing and I’m proud of people,” store clerk Debbie Miller added.

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