What Is S.O.C.K.S?
So Others Can Keep Striding -- is a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) organization founded with a mission to demonstrate love towards people facing homelessness by providing new socks and other essential items through direct outreach.
S.O.C.K.S is simple in its approach. We begin by collecting socks and monetary donations through methods such as: annual campaigns, S.O.C.K.S Boxes, and collections at events. We then utilize volunteers to distribute socks and other essential items to our friends experiencing homelessness. Unlike the many organizations across the US that collect much-needed socks and then donate to shelters, S.O.C.K.S is a full-scale “street outreach” program that extends beyond shelters and into the community to gain first-hand knowledge of the challenges today’s homeless population faces.
Our foundational scripture is Deuteronomy 15:11...
“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
The S.O.C.K.S Story
The S.O.C.K.S movement began one night in the basement of a church. The Founder, Damon Jones, volunteered to spend the night with the homeless men who were visiting the church’s temporary shelter. Listening to the men’s conversation throughout the night alerted Damon to a pressing need amongst the homeless community – clean, dry socks. The next morning when he awoke the idea for S.O.C.K.S came to him in a vision when, "So Others Can Keep Striding" appeared to him when he opened his eyes. From that moment the S.O.C.K.S Movement was born.
Our primary motivator is to serve God by serving His children. We are driven by the goal to please our Creator with our service.
In addition to our spiritual drivers, we also understand the importance of new socks in maintaining foot health. Healthy feet are important to one’s survival and well-being, as the condition of feet can affect overall health. In some extreme cases, amputation can be the result of a prolonged lack of clean, dry socks. There are numerous health risks that S.O.C.K.S reduce by providing the homeless population with clean, dry socks throughout the year, including:
- Infection: Risks for fungal infections such as Tinea Pedis, Onychomycosis and Plantar Warts
- Structure: Clean socks reduce friction between the shoe and the foot minimizing bunions, hammertoes and other bone-related irritations caused by friction.
- Avoiding Proper Care: Studies have shown that the embarrassment of odor and one’s foot condition is often times a deterrent to seeking preventive medical foot care and new, clean socks can encourage those in need to reach out for care.
To date we have distributed over 20,000 pairs of socks as well as various other items such as foot care items, hygiene products, blankets, and shoes in service to over 2,500 individuals experiencing homelessness. Additionally, we have prepared close to 1,000 meals for the homeless. Through our network consisting of partner organizations and volunteers, S.O.C.K.S has distributed socks and other items to promote foot health in Washington, DC; Los Angeles, CA; Oakland, CA; Birmingham, AL; Charlotte, NC; Baltimore, MD; Alexandria, VA; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; and Dallas, TX.