Students and teachers at a Caledon, Ont. high school have donated 8,760 pairs of black socks to a Toronto charity that helps homeless people.
The Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School students and teachers brought the socks by school bus to Good Shepherd Ministries, 412 Queen St. E., on Monday as part of an annual project to give to people less fortunate. The school has been donating socks for 22 years.
"This year, we went big," Anna Mancini, department head of religion at Robert F. Hall, told CBC Toronto.
"Socks are things that we take for granted. We just open our drawers and there's a pair of socks. For someone who is in need or without a home, it's something they desperately need for the winter."
Mancini said the school, located northwest of Toronto and part of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, usually collects between 2,000 and 3,000 pairs of socks every year.
The total this year, however, is more than double the number collected last year.
"As a school, we've been doing it for 22 years and we wanted to continue the tradition. I'm very proud of our school community," Mancini said.
According to the school, the project is done every year as part of religion class to demonstrate to students that they can have a positive impact on their communities.
Victoria Marsilla, a Grade 12 student at Robert F. Hall, said she has learned that students can make a difference by being generous.
"We saw how much we could raise awareness for the whole school. And we ended up succeeding. We collected so many socks for everybody," Marsilla said. "We do know that it can make a great impact on the community."
Adrienne Urquhart, fundraising and public relations director at Good Shepherd Ministries in Toronto, said the donation is practical and thoughtful and the charity is very grateful.
"It's a tremendous gift for us," Urquhart said. "A lot of the homeless folks we look after and see through our doors are walking a lot. They go through socks quite quickly."
Socks will keep feet warm, dry, protected
Urquhart said the socks will keep the feet of its clients warm, dry and protected.
"We are blessed with people who are philanthropic on a daily basis but this is an incredible gift that students and teachers at Robert F. Hall have done for us. You can't imagine what it would cost to purchase 9,000 pairs of socks," she said.
"It's wonderful to see youth get involved and give back. We're hoping people will see this, and other kids elsewhere in the city and the Greater Toronto Area will get involved this year at Christmas and throughout the year to help others who are less fortunate."
Brenda Holtkamp, the chaplain at Robert F. Hall, said the school holds three food drives a year and organizes Christmas baskets for needy families. Students and teachers all bring in socks for the donation and one student this year collected 500 pairs.
"Our school is extremely generous," she said.
At the Good Shepherd Refuge delivering the 8760 pairs of socks we collected during our campaign. Amazing work RFHall! pic.twitter.com/R7MudTcGnn— @rfhtweets