The power of a pair of socks: Regence partners with Sock it to Me to help vulnerable communities this winter
Thousands of donated socks and underwear will support houseless individuals and families in need
Main image: Community Action of Skagit County (left) and Compassion Connect (right)
Something as small as a warm pair of socks can make a meaningful difference for an unhoused person, who today represent seventeen out of every 10,000 people in the United States.*
A pair of warm, dry socks provides protection from the cold and reduces the possibility of infection and disease. Clean, undamaged socks can also help improve self-worth and are a comfort many take for granted.
Every winter, socks and underwear are among the most requested items from nonprofits. These same community organizations expect to face an extremely challenging winter as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
To address this growing need, Regence partnered with the company Sock it to Me to donate 5,000 pairs of socks and over 2,700 pairs of underwear to nonprofit organizations across Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah. As part of its annual Giving Tuesday celebration, Regence employees received a pair of socks—a gift that was matched by this donation to 11 nonprofits that serve the houseless community, including Compassion Connect, Tacoma Rescue Mission, Volunteers of America, Utah and YWCA of Lewiston & Clarkston.
Since the donation was made just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, the socks and underwear have been distributed to individuals and families, in many cases along with free COVID testing, medical care and other critical resources.
"Socks are the most asked for and least donated item,” said John Humphrey, Grant Manager at Tacoma Rescue Mission. “This incredible infusion of socks from Regence and Sock it to Me at this time of year is a true blessing."
Our communities need our help more than ever this winter. Whether you give your time or money, every action can go a long way toward supporting others when help is needed most.
Here are two ways you can give back while staying safe:
- Spread warmth with a virtual fundraiser. During this time of year, socks, coats, blankets and shoes are in high demand. Consider hosting a virtual coat drive in your neighborhood to ensure no one goes cold this winter. Do your research ahead of time, as many nonprofits are encouraging people to donate toward the cost of buying new items this year.
- Drop off a nourishing meal. Consider making an extra meal to pack up and deliver to an organization or person in need. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there’s currently no evidence of COVID-19 transmission through food preparation, be sure to take the proper precautions when making food for someone else—this includes disinfecting high-touch points in your kitchen and washing your hands often.
*According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) most recent point-in-time (PIT) count in January 2019.