Socks From Santa Volunteers added personal touches to bundles of donated socks.
The goal was 5,000 socks. But at the end of the day, when all the donations were bundled, tied up in red ribbon and adorned with heartfelt, handmade cards of good spirit and support, more than 9,000 pairs of socks were ready to be distributed to homeless men, women and children served by Central Arizona Shelter Services of Phoenix.
J. David Smith, communications manager at CASS, was blown away. “This will last us five or six months!” he exclaimed as the first annual Socks From Santa event concluded on Saturday, Dec. 17.
The event, organized by nonprofit Families Giving Back and co-hosted with Raising Arizona Kids magazine, drew more than 300 people of all ages during two sessions. They quickly got down to business, all eyes and hands focused on the task of adding a personal touch to the socks, which were also collected throughout the month at Churn, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and Village Health Clubs & Spas.
Here are some of our favorite images from the event. We’ve also included a video created by Families Giving Back, which hosts volunteer opportunities for families with kids of all ages.
The consensus from RAK staff members who attended? This is what holidays should feel like.
Top: Families Giving Back co-founders Alex Sklaar (white sweatshirt) and Lisa Geyser (black vest) give instructions to Socks From Santa volunteers. Left: Rachel Brockway, a FGB board member. Right: the kids even got involved checking in volunteers as they arrived for the event.
Families attached handmade cards to each package of socks.
RAK Editor Kara Morrison welcomes families to the second shift of Socks From Santa.
Calendar Editor Liz Petroff showed up with daughter Lucy and several families from Girl Scout Troop 4494.
Even this little one — a Girl Scout Troop 4494 sibling — seemed focused on the outreach project.
RAK staff member Kate Greene and her son Jackson (4).
Just a few of the bags stuffed with gifts of warm socks for the Valley’s homeless.
More of the productive volunteers who bundled Socks From Santa.
Mission accomplished! Some of Santa’s “elves” pose for a group photo.
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