It’s amazing enough that someone collected more than 3,000 new socks for the homeless.
But this someone, Samantha Mitchell, is 9 years old.
Samantha, a fourth grader living in Townsend, was inspired to start a socks campaign when she was with her mother, Jayme Mitchell, at the Friendship House in Wilmington on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 15.
The homeless center’s director told them how important socks are to homeless people. They often must throw away their socks because they become worn, too wet, or dirty.
Jayme said on the way back from the Friendship House, they had a pizza party and her daughter said, “Mom, I want to collect socks.”
So, Samantha started “Sammi’s Sock Stampede” and set a goal of raising 1,000 new adult socks by March 20, but she collected 3,218 socks at that point and the number continues to grow.
Some people wrote checks to buy the socks, meaning Samantha and her mom will go shopping for socks to add to their collection.
The total number of socks donated will probably max out at 4,000 and the socks will be donated to homeless shelters in Delaware. At the moment, the socks are in boxes at the Mitchell family’s home in Townsend.
When the donation drive started, the girl’s mother spread the word through a Facebook site she created, and it was shared across the country. And news of the collection drive was spread through the local community and the girl’s school, and among family and friends. Some donations came from total strangers.
“It’s been amazing the outpouring of support,” said her mother.
One of the first donations came from Townsend Councilwoman Lorraine Gorman.
“I saw it posted on our neighborhood Facebook page,” Gorman said. “I thought it was a wonderful idea and was moved that a child was undertaking this project for the homeless. I wanted to help so I bought several pairs of the warmest socks I could find and dropped them off.”
The successful sock collection by such a young girl has left her parents feeling proud. She’s done service projects with her school and through her mother’s work, but not individualized like this.
“I’m just extremely proud of her, to see that she was so affected by the need that she decided to take action,” Jayme said.
The girl’s dad, Bernell, said, “I’m proud of her. It was all her idea. She kind of came up with it on her own and we just helped out in ways we could.”