By Aaron Retherford
Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel has found a couple of solid partners in Darn Tough Vermont and Smartwool in its support of the homeless. Lenny’s completed its fifth annual Charity Sock Sale from Sept. 17-19 and provided a cash donation of $1,222 and 600 pairs of socks to four homeless shelters.
In the five years of the fundraiser, over $69,000 worth of cash donations and high quality socks has been distributed to shelters.
“Some of the things we overlook (for the homeless) are food and clothing,” Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel owner Mark McCarthy said. “Socks are a big one. These two great brands make premium socks. Putting a great pair of Darn Tough or Smartwool socks on somebody is a real psychological thing. Having a nice, clean pair of socks, goes a long way in making them feel better about themselves. Also, as we come into this time of year, a nice pair of warm socks can go a long ways, too.”
Benefiting from that charity is Good Samaritan Haven in Barre, which has 30 beds for the homeless, all of which have been full for about a year now. There is a waitlist of four or five men.
“Both parts are very important. The socks, we give out to all our clients during the winter,” Brooke Salls, Development Director for Good Samaritan Haven, said. “As they come through, we give them two or three pairs depending on how many socks we have and how many clients we have over the year. That helps them keep warm during the day because they have to be out during the day.”
Also receiving donations last Wednesday were Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) in Williston, the Samaritan House in St. Albans, and JCEO Community Outreach Emergency Services Program C/O United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc. in Plattsburgh, NY.