Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities employees (left) Sharon Wheeland, Erica Maze and Jennifer Bradford help collect socks for the Boards “Socktober” sock drive. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

This inspiring fundraiser seeks to help homeless in a non-obvious way

“Socktober,” a drive put on by the Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities, encourages people to donate socks at several area drop off locations through October.

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“It’s really a big need,” said Developmental Disabilities Board Early Intervention Director Jennifer Bradford. “Shelters get a lot of clothes, shirts and pants and things like that but most people don’t think about donating socks. Those are one of the quickest items of clothing to wear out.”

Many people who utilize the social services in the county will receive socks, Bradford said.

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“The people who will benefit (are in) the homeless shelter in Champaign County, the Caring Kitchen,” she said. “We will give some of the socks to them and the infant outreach center and a lot of the churches that have food pantries.”

There is no specific brand of sock the drive is looking for, she said, and there is a need for all sizes. However, the socks do need to be new.

“We have gotten a lot of good feedback, so we are anticipating that we will get a lot,” she said.

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This is the second drive the Developmental Disability board has done this year. The group collected diapers and wipes over the summer. It was while they were preparing for that drive, Bradford said, they found the idea for a sock drive.

“I have never personally thought about it, but socks do wear out pretty quickly,” she said. “We wanted to do that in the fall to again help the community.”

The places to drop off socks are: The Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Spotted Cow Coffeehouse, Champaign County Library, Person Centered Services, Creative Foundations, Champaign Residential Services, St. Paris Library and Goshen Lanes in Mechanicsburg.

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