News

Warm socks among biggest need

By Melissa Mangelsen, The Tribune

St. Charles students Kyle Prendergast, 8, (left) and Anthony Sartor, 8, (right) sit with Santa Claus in downtown Thorold in November 2012. Santa will be making another appearance in Thorold this year on Saturday, Nov. 30 for the 23rd annual Thorold Santa Claus Parade.

St. Charles students Kyle Prendergast, 8, (left) and Anthony Sartor, 8, (right) sit with Santa Claus in downtown Thorold in November 2012. Santa will be making another appearance in Thorold this year on Saturday, Nov. 30 for the 23rd annual Thorold Santa Claus Parade.

It’s been about 10 years since John Fulton and his kids decided to do something for others over the holiday season.

 

“My kids and I decided that they didn’t need a stocking at Christmas from bother their mom and I,” said Fulton. “Instead, I would deliver backpacks stuffed with care items to the homeless on Christmas day. We do it in memory of their grandmother.”

Fulton said the need was so great that they would always run out of time and end up at Wal-mart Christmas Eve at 5:45 p.m., 15-minutes to closing.

“It became kind of a shopping spree. We would stuff the backpacks with hoodies, gloves, toques, sweatpants, socks, drinks, energy bars, phone cards and toiletries,” he said.

During his time doing this he has found a need for something that not a lot of people may think of when donating over the holiday season - warm socks.

“It turned out that that was the number one need in the shelters, as far as limited supplies go. I guess people just don’t like to donate socks.”

Fulton contacted Pastor Bill at the Silver Spire Church on St. Paul St. in St. Catharines. Pastor Bill is connected to about 10 Out of the Cold programs that feed the needy.

“In some cases the Out of the Cold programs provide clothing and shelter. He told me that if I drop off 500 pairs of 95 socks to him that they’ll be gone in a couple of days. Especially warm men’s socks.”

Fulton’s next call was to Start Me Up Niagara and after speaking with Susan Vendetta, executive director, she offered to issue tax receipts to corporate sponsors.

“That was the step that paved the way for SocksforSanta.”

The goal is to get 1,000 pairs of socks and they are already over halfway there with a donation of 650 socks donated by McGregor Socks.

Socks will be collected on the parade route during the Thorold Santa Claus parade, Nov. 30.

The public is invited to visit any of the named locations and to bring (new) warm socks to hang on the sock trees or to purchase socks on site at Fulton Fitness, Downtown Health Club for Women, Thorold Credit Union, Mahtay Cafe and Start Me Up Niagara.

Anyone interest in starting their own socksforsanta.com drive can contact Fulton at 905-932-7873.

Parade spectators are asked to bring non-perishable food items to fill the giant ‘Shopper Chopper’ cart being pushed around by the Thorold Community Activities Group and Thorold Blackhawks.

As well, Walker Industries will be collecting unused toys for children, and the Thorold Community Credit Union, Fulton Fitness and the Downtown Health Club for Women will collect new socks for the ‘socksforsanta.com’ campaign, which benefits Out of the Cold Niagara. 

Poll

Do you donate during the holiday season?


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