Manitoba

Youngster inspires sock drive at Niakwa Place School

A young philanthropist has inspired his class to help others keep their feet dry before the weather gets wetter.

Student Brody Boille penned note to his teacher asking to help homeless at Main Street Project

Brody Boille, 8, has already collected about 100 pairs of socks from family and friends and hopes to collect 1,000 in total. (Ashleigh Boille/Submitted)

An eight-year-old philanthropist has inspired his class to help others keep their feet dry before the weather gets wetter.

The Grade 3/4 class at Niakwa Place School will be doing a sock drive this week in support of  Main Street Project after a Grade 3 student, Brody Boille, handed his teacher Mark Mulvihill a note Friday.

"Mr. M, I saw on the news that main street project homeless shelter has no dry socks to use, so they are desperate for donations of new and gently used socks," the note reads. "Maybe our class can do a sock drive to help out. What do you think?

"The weather is about to get wetter and they will need so many dry socks. Can we send a note home today?"

Niakwa Place School student Brody Boille wrote this note to his teacher. (Mark Mulvihill/Twitter)

"He stood there while I read it," said Mulvihill. "I said 'Well, let's ask the class, but I think it's a great idea.'"

Brody, whose mother, Ashleigh describes as "shy," said he was more comfortable making the request in a letter rather than talking to his teacher outright. 

"When I heard there are people going without such a basic need I felt like I should try to do something to help out," said Brody.

"I decided that dry socks are something most people have a lot of and most people take for granted."

​The class approved of the project, with one student prompting the class to give Brody a round of applause, said Mulvihill. 

Tweet gets attention

To get the word out, Mulvihill sent an email home to all the the parents, but they also posted a picture of the note on Twitter, learning about hashtags and how to use someone else's Twitter handle to get their attention.

The class tweet, which had tagged the shelter, caught her attention immediately, said Cindy Titus, spokesperson for Main Street Project.

"His handwritten note was just so cute and I just feel like kids are often philanthropists," said Titus. "They're super earnest in their efforts and they're very compassionate."

New is the preference for socks for sure, but if they have socks that are still in good shape, we'll happily take them.- Cindy Titus

Socks are important for their clients, especially during wetter, colder times of the year, said Titus.

"They spend a lot of time walking out on the street and the cement is hard on their feet," she said, adding if people are wearing socks that are wet, they can get blisters and become prone to infection.

The project collects clean, dry socks to be given to clients, and gently-used socks are fine to donate, she said.

"New is the preference for socks for sure, but if they have socks that are still in good shape, we'll happily take them."

People who want to help the sock drive can drop them off at Niakwa School or at the Main Street Project downtown. They can also help by purchasing something from the shelter's Amazon wish list.

The sock drive runs Monday through Thursday, with delivery of the socks to the shelter on Friday, said Mulvihill.

"He's just a kind, caring little soul," Mulvihill said of Brody. "He's very helpful to others, kind of a neat little guy in that respect, so it wasn't surprising when he handed me something like that."

Brody said he feels happy to be helping people and has a goal to collect 1,000 pairs of socks over the week.

When asked if he had ever done something like this before, he said "no," but, "it won't be the last."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elisha Dacey

Journalist

Elisha Dacey was a journalist with CBC Manitoba. She is the former managing editor of Metro Winnipeg and her work has been seen in newspapers from coast to coast.

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