Socks for Sandy: Helping Sandy’s Victims

Socks for Sandy: Please send winter hats, gloves and socks for Sandy's victims in southern New Jersey #socksforsandy

 

February 2013 update:  The Socks for Sandy project has concluded. Thank you to everyone, from the bottom of my heart! ~Laura

November 3, 2012

Our neighborhood survived Hurricane Sandy. But that’s not what this post is about.

Instead, I’d like to focus on those people who survived with only the clothes on their backs. Literally.

Just down the road from our little neighborhood, the need is great. (You can click here to read more about the Little Egg Harbor area of New Jersey, and how hard this area was hit.) Many homes are gone, flooded, wiped out, total losses.

Mystic Island and Tuckerton Beach have been wiped out. Read more here.
These are just two of the many coastal communities devastated by Sandy.

One of my sis-in-laws went to volunteer at the local Hurricane Shelter set up at the middle school. She spread the word about what items people needed, including socks. My other sis-in-law and I, along with her kids, went over there that same night with clothes and socks to donate.

In Tuckerton Beach, where this photo was taken, officials said seven homes were thrown
from their foundations or pilings and simply disappeared. (Photo from Asbury Park Press)

I couldn’t get the socks thing out of my head. People needed socks. People were walking around barefoot. But it was more than that, this sort-of obsession about socks. Putting socks on cold feet signifies warmth and comfort – a small bit of goodness during what will be a long and difficult road. It bothered me all night.

Yes, we live at the shore. Going barefoot goes hand-in-hand with living at the beach. But after this storm? It is much chillier around here. And the forecast is for another possible storm to arrive in about four days. People need socks for warmth. Now.

Below is a video clip from a Philadelphia, PA television 
station about Tuckerton Beach in our area. Please watch!

The next morning, I was doing some laundry for the second round of clothes I was going to donate – you know the pile in your closet that doesn’t fit anymore, but you keep them for “when” you go on a diet and fit into them again? Yeah, that’s what I donated. I’ll lose the weight later.

This is a picture of my next door neighbor’s father’s home – or rather what’s
left of it – in West Creek, New Jersey, which is only 10 minutes north from here on Route 9.

Anyway — As I was doing laundry, I kept thinking about my fellow DIY and craft blogger friends on Hometalk and how supportive they are as a group. So many wanted to know how we were, how the people around us were. I swear these gals have the biggest hearts! I posed a simple question to them, and they said yes.

So here we are. Our mission is a simple one. And has a fast turn-around time too.

We’re focusing on providing warm socks, gloves and winter hats to those who need it most right now. Also urgently needed are new packages of underwear for men, women and children.

We need these items for all ages, all shapes and sizes, for men, for women, for babies, for children.

Please send to:

Socks for Sandy
P.O. Box 520
Little Egg Harbor, NJ  08087
Please mail by November 14th if at all possible, as the need is urgent! If you need more time, that’s OK too. Just please send what you can as soon as possible!

February 2013 update:  The Socks for Sandy project has concluded. Thank you to everyone, from the bottom of my heart! 
I will receive all packages and immediately take these to the local hurricane shelter for distribution. Any excess will be given to the other hurricane shelters up and down New Jersey’s coastline.
This can be a great project to involve your kids in, because it all comes down to giving a bit of warmth to someone in need.
What started as an idea has blossomed into warmth. And it is simple to get involved.
Another option:
Donating directly to the Red Cross is still the fastest way to get your money into the hands of those who need it the most.

I want to thank my blogger friends from all over the country who are making Socks for Sandy a reality. Please click here to view a list of blogs (with links to each one) who are helping me. The list includes the state or province where each blogger is based, showing the wide network of support!

And last but definitely not least: I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your help.

~Laura



February 2013 update:  The Socks for Sandy project has concluded. Thank you to everyone, from the bottom of my heart! 

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    i would rather send socks than contribute to the red cross so thanks for the great post and idea you have had. hope to get some out this week. Wish I could bring some of the homeless to my home in GA…I have plenty of room…

    • Anonymous says

      laura, thanks for your response, I just finished stuffing a box with about 100 pr of new socks for boys and girls and men and women. Will get it sent in the AM. Am trying to share your request with others. So many needs and often the FB messages get lost so will keep posting. patricia dearolf lee is my FB page and I will friend you so I can get updates and share with my friends. thanks again

    • says

      Hi Laura. My heart goes out to all the people who are without the comfort of their homes, their belongings, or even electricity. As so often happens when there is a tragedy of this magnitude, many of us are left wondering what is the best way to help from so far away? Thanks for organizing this. We have some toasty warm wool socks to get into the mail this week. I will post Socks for Sandy tomorrow and keep sharing on FB to get the word out to as many people as possible. Thanks!

  2. says

    Awesome idea! These poor people, I can’t begin to imagine. To have entire houses just disappear… I will try to get a package to you on Monday!
    Melissa (Paper Ink Press | Etsy Greetings)

  3. says

    I love this! I am a school teacher in Tennessee looking for ways my school can help. I have been in contact with the NJ dept. of ed and have been given some contacts, but would like to do something immediately. If I can get this ok-ed with my principals, can we send you a package next Monday?

    Kari

  4. Anonymous says

    Bless you for opening up your heart and time to help these people out who have suffered so much from Sandy! I will get a package out asap and will also distribute an email to all my friends to do the same! Liz

  5. says

    My kids did this for Japan a couple of years ago while they were in school in NJ. So glad to see that someone is doing this here. We will be getting some things together too!

  6. Carol Carrasco says

    I will head to the store today and mail them tomorrow…thanks for giving us something concrete to do…we all feel so helpless for everyone suffering through this tragedy.

  7. says

    Sending socks and hats your way. Also send my hubby (not to your PO box) with his Army Preventative Medicine Detachment unit to NJ to help!

  8. says

    After experiencing Hurricane Ike a few years ago, I know how they feel.
    I’m happy to help in this way and will spread the word!
    You are awesome to do this!
    xo, Tina

  9. says

    What a great idea Laura! We will be sending a package your way this week. Is it ok to send nice “used” hats & gloves? I know my daughter has a really adorable set that she barely wore last year that does not fit her this year. If it’s ok with you, we will throw those in the package too.

  10. Alana says

    My kids and I have lots of stuff like this packed away. We will go through it this week and send it! My step mom grew up in NJ and was there visiting an aunt who is about to pass away and couldn’t get out before the storm hit. She was finally able to make it home to Arkansas today.

  11. says

    please keep us updated… thanks for doing this for those that are in need! God bless you! I tweetd about it and shared it on FB…
    Cathy B*****y pbprojecthope at yahoo dot com

  12. Connie Lou says

    Thanks so much for this. Some people don’t trust the Red Cross but being able to clean out the socks drawer and know that “someone” will actually receive them is awesome! Perhaps people can start the same thing for shirts or blouses!

    • says

      Thanks Connie! That’s what I did the first night after the storm: cleaned out my sock drawer, just kept a few pairs for me and my husband. I’m also asking for winter hats and gloves too, to help provide some warmth. 🙂

      As for clothing, I was told this morning that there is more than enough clothing coming in at the present time. If anything, they would like more Women’s Plus-Sized clothing.)

  13. says

    Thank you for doing this! I just shared this on my blog.I am also sending a package out today! If we all help we can make a difference!
    xx
    Anne

  14. says

    Laura this is great, it is sooo much better to know someone who is directly distributing these needed things to the people themselves! Please tell me what other items are needed and I will go pick them up and mail them to the address P.O. Box 520? please advise asap! blessings, lady

    • says

      Thanks for your question. Any winter hats, gloves, mittens or socks you can send would be a welcome bit of warmth for those who need it the most right now in this area! Yes, the address listed within this blog post is the place to send all packages. Thank you so much!

    • says

      Hugs to you Jenna for sharing this project with your blog’s readers! I appreciate it – and you – big-time! As of right now, Monday evening, there are enough clothes I am told. So let’s keep focusing on the hats, gloves and socks and warm some deserving folks up! 🙂

  15. says

    Laura, I will go through our sock drawers at home. Is there a need for other clothing? I have some baby clothing (12 mos) I’d be happy to send. And other women’s petite clothing, along with some mens clothing, too. But I don’t want to overburden you if it’s not needed or would be too much. It looks like others want to help if they can so please let us know 🙂

    Bless you for helping out in a tangible way and inviting others to join you!

    • says

      Thanks for asking Paula! As of right now, Monday evening, I’m told there are enough clothes from all of this area’s fabulous donations gathered over the past few days! So I’m keeping our focus on socks, gloves (or mittens!) and winter hats. Those are much needed. Thank you for your help!

  16. says

    I’m reposting this on my blog and I hope you do not get overwhelmed with boxes! but this kind of overwhelm is better than the one that is desperate and in need, yes? 😀 hugs and blessings.

  17. says

    Are you taking used items? I mean of hats and gloves. I have a stash my kids have outgrown and probably wore twice. Just posted this on Clothes for Colorado on facebook. We really wanted to find a way to help, and appreciate your efforts.

    • says

      Thanks for asking Jenifer, and thanks for helping too! Yes, gently used items – in other words in good condition, no holes or rips – something that you would appreciate receiving if it was you on the receiving hand. (That’s the measure I used when emptying my sock drawer last week to donate some socks right away!)

  18. says

    I shared this on fb. I didn’t ask permission and I apologize for assuming you may me too busy from the response to this requuest. God bless you and your family for taking this on for the people around you.

  19. Anonymous says

    What about blankets and things for the babies? I know they require quite a bit of things… What a wonderful thing you are doing! My heart aches for all the families who lost a loved one or their home.. So very sad!

    • says

      Yes, you’re right, so many things are needed right now. My focus is on getting warm socks, gloves and hats to keep everyone warm —–>> which includes socks, gloves and hats for babies, which can be so helpful to families in these shelters. Thanks for asking!

  20. Anonymous says

    Laura: I would like to get my school involved. I’ve been looking at different ideas and think this one is great and easy for kids to help. However, I do not think we could get everything by November 9th. I was planning a project for kids to donate from Nov. 13th to November 30th. Is that too late? Would you still accept items if mailed on the 30th? If not, I completely understand.

    • says

      Yes, we would prefer something sooner than that, because – for example – we’ve got our first Nor’easter since Sandy arriving tomorrow (Wednesday), and our weather just seems to be getting colder and colder since the storm. Is there a way you could have them donate between now and Nov 15th? The school could pack things up on the 16th to ship out, and I could receive these before (hopefully) Thanksgiving.

      What is difficult, is that everyone will not be staying in these shelters long-term. The hope is that many – especially families – can be moved into more suitable long-term housing as soon as possible. (That’s what Gov Christie and FEMA are working on.) So I want to be able to get these to people while everyone is still gathered in (primarily) one place.

      Thank you SO much for your help!

  21. says

    question: Recently when mailing a box, the carrier told me they couldn’t/wouldn’t deliver to a P.O.Box…is there an associated street address?

    • says

      Carriers such as FedEx and UPS will not deliver to P.O. Boxes, as they deliver packages door-to-door. There is no official Socks for Sandy office, as I’m it – basically running this as a one-woman show, with help from my blogger friends across the country!

      Sending you box from your local post office is your best bet.
      Thanks so much for asking!

  22. says

    Thanks Laura, for being so proactive for these unfortunate folks! I’ve got a
    box ready to mail and I want to thank you SO MUCH for helping those who have
    something to be ABLE to help those who are in need! God bless you and everyone up North!!

  23. says

    Thank you Laura for doing this. I am running out now to mail my package to you. I am praying for all affected and those like you helping them. Bonnie

  24. Anonymous says

    Saw this posted on PINTEREST and was SO INSPIRED!!!
    I posted to FB and started calling friends. I have 3 boxes full of nice, warm items to send, and more coming!!! I will have them on their way to you before weeks end!!!
    KEEP IT UP!!! 😀

  25. says

    Thank you for this Laura! It’s so good to know that our donation will actually get to the right people! My 4yro helped me go through her clothes and we gathered a box full of clothes, boots, and snow clothes, she was very proud to know that she was helping another little person. Shipped today.
    Carrie

  26. says

    What a great idea… Tomorrow when I get up (I am working nights).. I am going to go through all our stuff and send some.. I know I have lots of hats and gloves that I don’t use… and go out and buy some socks.. Thanks for doing this and let the ones of us that are further away able to help in some way.

  27. says

    I just sent a box of hats and new socks. We don’t use those things here in south Florida so I got all the warm hats from the thrift and new socks from Wal-Mart you should get by Tuesday is the best I could do. I also sent a blast out from our 2012 ning site to over 3000 people about this, I think you may get overwhelmed in the joyous way! blessings, lady. I was happy to do this.

    • says

      Thanks Ingrid! At some point I’ll have to share what it was like evacuating with the cats, especially Aliza who is a formerly feral kitty who is not easy to get into a cat carrier: for a senior kitty she can run very fast if she’s scared to death. But we were not leaving without them!

    • Anonymous says

      Laura
      Just posted 3 boxes of hats, mittens etc. There is a story behind them. They were originally made for our local library’s annual mitten tree. My friends buy the yarn and I stitch. This year I was recovering from a hand injury and learning to loom knit was my PT and my salvation. Tears and cheers.

      I am so glad there was a big stash to send on to you. I am originally from CT and know what November is like on the coast. Here it is still sunny and warm and your need is so much greater than ours and this is something practical we can take part in.

      Some of the scarves are for pretty, not warm. They might be better off donated to a raffle or other fund raiser as they would probably raise more money than be warm. That was the plan when I made them. Obviously it is up to you where you see the need.

      The rest of the story is that my friends donated the postage. I was at the PO and several people asked about the address on the boxes. People in line donated cash so that we could upgrade them to priority so they would get to you quicker.

      Thank you for putting this together.

      E in Utah

    • says

      Dear E in Utah: E must stand for Exceptional, for that is what you and your friends are! You just brought tears to my eyes with your story.
      And for the scarves that might not be so warm: I’m 100% positive they will be appreciated as a lovely accessory that women (who lost every single thing) can wear on the job or to church, going out, etc. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Anonymous says

      Oh! I was so focused on warm stuff it totally slipped my mind what a morale booster something pretty would be. Thanks for pointing it out. I wish I had a dozen more to send.

  28. says

    In case people are scrolling these comments for updates…

    We have an urgent need for new packages of underwear as well as socks, winter hats and scarves that can be “gently used” and clean. Please send to:

    Socks for Sandy
    P.O. Box 520
    Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087

    Please see the Socks for Sandy FAQ page for answers to the many questions I’ve received so far:

    http://petscribbles.blogspot.com/2012/11/socks-for-sandy-faq.html

    Thank you for your support and generosity!

  29. says

    Just wanted to say thanks for giving some of us far away a way to help!! I’m shipping out a box from South Carolina tomorrow morning!! Hope it helps in some small way:0)

  30. Anonymous says

    Hello…….from some hurricane survivors to another……our box of hats and socks are in the post today! Thanks for such a good idea and sharing!
    From your friends in Florida…..
    Mary and Martha

  31. says

    Hey Laura, tell us how the feet are doing over there 😀 next week should bring more covered feet. Also the socks I sent were “mens” but I wear mens because they are usually bigger, so women can wear them, just so you and the distributors know. lady

  32. says

    Just got a box shipped priority mail before our little post office closed! Full of socks and undies (all sizes). Really wanted to express my gratitude to you for throwing yourself into this wholeheartedly and organizing everyone like this. My 10 year old has been involved and he is learning an important lesson of how he can easily impact and help comfort others who are going through difficult times. BIG HUGS to you!

    • says

      Thanks so much Sherry for saying that! I do love the aspect of kids helping those in need – which I think this project does moreso than simply donating money. (I’m not knocking donating money…but sometimes I think kids need an actual project to get involved and enjoy too while they are learning life’s lessons.) Hugs to you!

  33. Anonymous says

    I sent a box from Canada with about 75 pairs of hand made mittens for kids that were made by an elderly lady, and gloves, hats and socks in different sizes and colors earlier this week. I hope you got it by now. I didn’t send a note with it because I didn’t think it was necessary and I didn’t expect a note back. I know you will give them to whoever needs them. I hope they are helpful and useful and that they make a difference in some way. Take care!
    Andrea

  34. Anonymous says

    My 13-year-old son read about Socks for Sandy and decided that he wanted to help. He collected about 80 pairs of socks from the kids in his church confirmation class, and I am mailing these today. The kids had two days’ notice, and they all got behind the idea, Most of their families donated at least a few pairs of socks. Thanks you for providing this opportunity for us to help the people who have been most affected by the disaster!
    Sandi

  35. says

    I work for the reebok outlet and we have organizaed sock drives in stores you shall be receiving, if you havent already, socks from stores through out the united states!!!

    • says

      Wow Maggie – that is incredible! If you have more specifics you can share, please contact me at petscribbles (at) gmail (dot) com. (I spell out the email address to avoid the spam bots!) I’d love to know more about this so that I can promote what you are doing and publicly thank Reebok or the Reebok Outlets!

  36. says

    Laura,
    I heard about the Socks for Sandy campaign through a blog (don’t remember which one) and took the idea to my fifth grade City Council (I’m an elementary principal). They loved the idea and in one short week collected over 400 pairs of socks and gloves. We sent them off to you before Thanksgiving so you’ve probably gotten them by now but I didn’t include a note so I wanted to let you know where they came from. Our local paper did a story about the kids collecting the socks. Thought you might want to read about it here: http://www.reporternews.com/photos/2012/nov/13/127060/
    http://www.reporternews.com/photos/2012/nov/13/127059/
    Blessings to all of you during the recovery efforts!
    Cyndi

  37. Anonymous says

    Hi Laura,

    I just recently heard about your Socks for Sandy Inniative. What are still in need of?

    Anne

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