Socks for the Well

By: Mike Sandgren

One thing I’ve learned lately about the experience of being homeless is the importance of healthy, comfortable feet.  Through conversations with our guests in The Well, I’ve realized that, when a person is homeless, they rarely take off their shoes.  Those of us who live in a house and sleep in a bed every night have the luxury of being barefoot when we hang out indoors or when we sleep.  When a person is living on the streets, however, constantly keeping their shoes on is essential for warmth and to avoid the theft of their shoes.  As you can imagine, this necessity poses collateral challenges when it comes to foot hygiene.  A variety of foot conditions can easily develop when a person’s feet are constantly kept in damp, cold shoes and socks.  These conditions can be very debilitating, especially to those who do not have means of transportation other than their feet!  

In order to help our homeless friends avoid the discomfort and challenges of unhealthy feet, especially during the winter, The Well sponsored a sock drive last year.  Together, the congregation collected enough socks to give at least one pair to every person who needed them throughout the winter.  Additionally, we were able to share our surplus with the nurses at Wellness at The Well, who utilize them in their foot clinic.  We also used the socks you raised as a part of the care packages we made at the Advent Party.  Our guests repeatedly told us that these socks were some of the most valuable gifts we offered them during the winter.  

Since last year’s sock drive was such a success, and met a very real need in the lives of our friends on the street, we’ve decided to do it again this year!  Between the dates of October 30th and November 13th, expect to see bins in the foyer for you to fill with socks.  We appreciate any type of sock, but we find high-ankled and wool socks particularly helpful!  We hope to use the socks in the same way as last year: as parts of individual care packages, to restock Wellness at The Well’s supply, and to give out during the winter months to all our guests who are struggling with unhealthy feet.  We hope you will bring in as many socks as you can.  Together, we as a congregation can demonstrate Christ’s love to those less fortunate in a very real way!