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The Joy of Sox nonprofit organization presented its millionth pair of socks to Prevention Point Philadelphia on Wednesday, seeking to keep the feet of people experiencing homelessness and poverty warm as the colder weather hits.
When he started Joy of Sox 13 years ago, Founder and Chief Sock Person Tom Costello Jr. said the original plan was to focus on one Philadelphia shelter.
Since then, Joy of Sox has expanded to 34 states and 11 countries, which Costello says is due to the support from volunteers over the years.
“It’s amazing,” Costello said. “You hand a pair of socks to somebody on the street, their eyes open up.”
Prevention Point Interim Lead Executive Officer Silvana Mazzella said socks are important in harm reduction.
“Nobody likes having cold, wet feet, right? So something like this, it may not be the first thing people think of, but it can be so moving for people,” Mazzella said.
During a news conference in Kensington, Costello told the story of Kiwi, a woman experiencing homelessness in Toronto he spoke with.
“She said that socks are more important than food,” Costello said. “If you’re on the street with no socks in the winter, it’s horrible on your feet and your ankles. You can’t walk. So in her world, socks are more important than food.”
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