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Alaskan High School Students Collect Socks for Children

Editor's Note: This story has been used with permission from the Juneau Empire. It was published on March 3 on their website here.

A simple pair of children’s socks may not look powerful, but they can make a big difference in the lives of orphaned children around the world.

The Juneau-Douglas High School Interact Club is teaming up with Buckner International to ask Juneau residents to collect socks for children in need. The annual nationwide Shoes for Orphan Souls drive is seeking to collect more than 250,000 pairs of new shoes and socks, with a nationwide campaign. The shoes and socks go to orphanages around the world, as well as disaster relief within the United States.

“We hope that with Juneau’s support, we can make life better for children in the United States and around the world. And this year after Superstorm Sandy, we were reminded of how important disaster relief is.” Erin Gaffaney, Interact’s President and founder of this annual event, said.

“We have seen the smiles that a new pair of socks brings to children in the orphanages we visit, and we want to extend that same joy to others like them,” said Heather Weathers, Manager of Acquisitions and Shoes for Orphan Souls, “Because of The JDHS Interact Club’s commitment to this program, we can continue to increase the number of kids who will benefit.”

The reach is vast and a small donation goes a long way.

“Millions of children reside in orphanages throughout our world,” Weathers said, “And those orphanages are not receiving enough money to care for the children’s most basic needs, like shoes and socks.”

An unexpected benefit of donating new socks is the sense of satisfaction on the part of the person who gives, Weathers said, “At Buckner, we say new socks are good for the soul — yours and theirs. A person who gives can’t help but feel as though they also have received a great gift.”

Donated items should be for children and teens and, due to customs regulations, socks need to be brand new. For those preferring to make a cash donation, Interact will be at Walmart March 16 and March 30. You can also contact Interact by email at jdhs.interact@yahoo.com.

No donation is too small, Weathers said, “Most of the donations to the sock drive have come from families giving one or two pairs of socks. Every one pair of socks makes a big difference to the child who receives them.”

You can drop socks off at the boxes inside Fred Meyer and Walmart through the month of March.

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