The Socktober Drive of 2023 was a phenomenal success!
The Interact Club at Union High School, under the direction of Dr. Ed
Boffa, is a club of students dedicated to active service for the good of
the school and community. The Socktober drive began in 2019 when
the UHS Interact Club decided to hold a sock drive for a homeless shelter in Orange.
That year, students collected 633 pairs of socks. In
2021, after Covid, they collected 1,099 pairs of socks.
In 2022, the Union Rotary Club heard about the Socktober drive. Since
Interact is a branch of the Rotary Youth Programs, the Union Rotary
Club joined their drive. The YMCA also joined in and the total rose to
1,665 pairs which were donated to the YMCA shelter in Elizabeth.
This year, the bar was raised even higher. Members of the community
realized that socks are one of the most requested items for people who
turn to shelters for assistance. A call went out to try to reach the goal of
2,023 pairs for 2023. That call was quickly answered. Members of the
YMCA donated 305 pairs and employees at Hillmann Consulting
brought in 274 more. The Interact students realized a total of 1,724
pairs. Elementary school students at Livingston School, as well as the
UTEA, joined in the drive. Rotary members, family and friends joined in
to heed the call and help others while a member of the Rotary, Dennis
Laronga, donated an entire pallet of socks which is 2,052!
The grand total for the 2023 Socktober drive was 4,885 pairs of socks
donated! The results of this drive will help hundreds of people!
Jodi Pelano of the Wellness Center, Gateway Family YMCA, said,
“People are overwhelmed with the generosity of all the donations,
especially in light of the cold weather approaching.” When the
thousands of pairs of socks were dropped off at the YMCA Housing,
Laura Margeotes, Director, said this holiday season more than 300
individuals, families, veterans, and others will be serviced. The socks
should last through the next 5 months and help hundreds of people feel
warm and dry through the winter months.