Guidestar’s Platinum Level for The Joy of Sox

The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit providing new socks to those experiencing homelessness, earned Guidestar's 2018 Platinum Seal of Approval.
The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit providing new socks to those experiencing homelessness, earned Guidestar’s 2018 Platinum Seal of Approval.

The Joy of Sox, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, that provides new socks to those experiencing homelessness earned the 2018 Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. By sharing metrics that highlight progress The Joy of Sox is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation such as overhead ratios.

“In accordance with our long-held belief in being transparent about our work,” said Tom Costello, Jr, Chief Sock Person & Founder, “we are excited to convey our organization’s results in a user-friendly and highly visual manner. By updating our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile to the Platinum level, we can now easily share a wealth of up-to-date organizational metrics with our supporters as well as GuideStar’s immense online audience, which includes donors, grantmakers, our peers, and the media.”

To reach the Platinum level, The Joy of Sox added extensive information to its Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, The Joy of Sox has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate The Joy of Sox.

“This is really special and I encourage you to visit our profile on GuideStar to see what we’re all about,” added Costello. “We’re thrilled that our GuideStar Platinum Nonprofit Profile and its associated benefits help us better communicate our organization’s exciting initiatives at a global scale.”

About The Joy of Sox.  The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to those experiencing homelessness by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be the best sock charity in the United States, and to every person experiencing homelessness in America six pairs of new socks every year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 277,600 pairs of new socks  – over a quarter of a million pairs! – to the homeless in 33 states and five countries.  For more information please visit www.TJoS.org.

 

Peace and Justice with Socks

Handing out news socks to the homeless at Grace Cafe, Arch Street Methodist Church, Philadelphia, PA. Eliza Clark, an intern from Villanova University for The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks, talks with two homeless men.
Handing out news socks to the homeless at Grace Cafe, Arch Street Methodist Church, Philadelphia, PA. Eliza Clark, an intern from Villanova University for The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks, talks with two homeless men.

An observation by Tom Costello, Jr.
Chief Sock Person & Founder
The Joy of Sox

Earl did not talk about politics, or tragedies. He wanted to talk about Villanova basketball. He wanted to talk about turning his life around, not getting high. And he wanted to talk about socks. I listened.

On a cold March Sunday evening in the basement of Arch Street Methodist Church, near City Hall in Philadelphia I listened to Earl. Earl is a homeless man, maybe 40 or so, hard to tell. He seemed happy. He had just finished dinner at the Grace Café, a hot meal program run by the church.

He was bundled up in a hand-me-down North Face jacket, a non-descript knit hat and sneakers. I was there, with two college students, handing out much needed new socks to those coming out of the Café. When Earl saw what we were doing he came up to me, smiled and pulled up his jeans to show me his bare ankles. He was not wearing socks. “I haven’t had socks in weeks. Bless you so much for what you do.”

A Nor’easter had hit Philly two days before. It had been cold, snowy and very windy. And yet, smiling Earl was living on the streets without socks. I can’t imagine how painful that must be to walk around with cold wet feet.

But I don’t think that’s an unusual experience for the homeless. Most non-homeless people donate their old clothes to charity, but throw away their old socks because they are worn or have holes in them. So, at clothing distribution places the “Earls” of this world may get shirts, sweaters or even North Face jackets, but rarely new socks.

When he heard that one of our student volunteers was from Villanova he smiled even more. “Do you know Tony Chennault?” he asked me. “Don’t know him personally,” I said, “but I think he was a decent point guard.”

Earl went on to talk about his friend Tony, said he knew him back in the day. He said he was a great player, but more importantly a great person. Earl then talked more about turning his life around, and as he said that he literally turned around in a circle. We chatted for a few more minutes about Tony. I listened. He turned around a few more times. Still smiling.

I could tell he was ready to move on when he leaned into me and quietly asked if he could have another pairs of socks. “These are wonderful,” he said. I smiled and gave him a bunch. He hugged me, said God bless you, and walked up the stairs out into the cold Philly night.

On my way home, in my warm car, wearing warm socks, I turned off the radio. No need to hear about the latest disturbing news events from Washington. Instead, I reflected on the Earls of the world and wanted to do more.

In reading about Peace and Justice issues I realize the movement aims to resolve injustice and conflict, and advocate for a just and peaceful world. I’m convinced that ending homelessness is a major part of the movement. But I’m also convinced that although we cannot get the Earls and others experiencing homelessness off the streets, at least we can help make their days a little bit more comfortable.

At least for a couple of weeks Earl will have warmer toes. And that makes me smile. Peace and justice…with socks.


Tom Costello, Jr. is the Chief Sock Person & Founder of The Joy of Sox®. The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be the best sock charity in the United States and to give six pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the America six times every year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 250, 430 pairs of new socks  – over a quarter of a million pairs! – to the homeless in 31 states and five countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

NJ Sen. Bateman’s “Socks for the Homeless Day” Resolution Passed by Committee

A resolution sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman designating February 14 of each year as “Socks for the Homeless Day” has been approved by the Senate Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee.

“Most of us take for granted having clean socks to wear every day,” said Bateman. “Homeless people don’t have that luxury. They know that clean, dry socks are critical in protecting their health, comfort, and overall well-being. I’m glad to help raise awareness of the importance of socks for the homeless.”

The joint resolution, SJR-17, has been championed by Tom Costello Jr., founder and Chief Sock Person at The Joy of Sox, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides socks for the homeless.

Most of us take for granted the clean socks we wear every day. Homeless people don’t have that luxury. They know that clean, dry socks are critical in protecting their health, comfort & overall well-being. Glad to help @thejoyofsoxorg to raise awareness. http://www.senatenj.com/index.php/bateman/batemans-socks-for-the-homeless-day-resolution-passed-by-committee/36774 

Highlighting the importance of the initiative, Kiwi, a homeless person, said, “…sometimes socks can be more important than food.”

Several other states, including New York, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, have adopted similar resolutions designating “Socks for the Homeless Day.”

“There are more than half-a-million Americans and an estimated 8,500 New Jerseyans who face the many challenges associated with homelessness,” added Bateman. “They’ve told us that better access to clean socks is one of their greatest needs, and we should listen. A small donation of socks can make a huge difference to someone in need.”

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be the best sock charity in the United States and to give six pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the America six times every year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 250, 430 pairs of new socks  – over a quarter of a million pairs! – to the homeless in 30 states and five countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

The Joy of The Season with New Socks for the Homeless

Click the image to make a donation to The Joy of Sox - a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.
Click the image to make a donation to The Joy of Sox – a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.

The New World Group (NWG) is a remarkable marketing company. Not only do they excel in in positioning strategies and brand identity they also give back to the community. For 2017, The Joy of Sox (TJoS) – a nonprofit that gives new socks to the homeless – was the fortunate, and very grateful recipient of NWG’s year end grant.

The New World Group also used a sock theme to bring the joy of the season to their clients. Each client received a can of specialty socks as a holiday present. A video, The joy of the season, was also produced that talks about the joy of the season, the joy of a new day, the joy of giving back, and of course…the joy of socks.

The last image on the video says “New World Group is proud to be donating to The Joy of Sox this holiday season,” and provides a link to The Joy of Sox.

Click the image to New World Group's "The joy of the season" video. NWG is proud to be donating to The Joy of Sox - a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.
Click the image to New World Group’s “The joy of the season” video. NWG is proud to be donating to The Joy of Sox – a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.

 

New World Group is a New Jersey-based (Secaucus) organization that offers a full spectrum of marketing services, with a specialty in positioning strategies and brand identity. They are driven by their clients; committed to bringing their vision to life through a blend of targeted research, excessive (maybe obsessive) brain-storming, innovative solutions and a cutting edge creative suite of multi-talented writers, designers, media junkies, production specialists, and global sourcing super-heroes. This method of collaboration is a now 20-year proven, time tested recipe for a new standard of advertising and marketing – a cross-platform approach that brings unprecedented success to our clients. For more information please visit www.NewWorldGroup.com.

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be the best sock charity in the United States and to give six pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the America six times every year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 250, 430 pairs of new socks  – over a quarter of a million pairs! – to the homeless in 30 states and five countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

Santa Ana Homeless Get Hundreds of New Socks Thanks to a Villanova Intern for The Joy of Sox®

Santa Ana homeless get hundreds of new socks thanks to Joy of Sox intern and team of volunteers.

The Ocean County REGISTER covered the story of Eliza Clark, a senior at Villanova University, and the Chief Sock Intern for The Joy of Sox®, organizing 11 volunteers to pass out 597 pairs of new socks to the homeless.
The Ocean County REGISTER covered the story of Eliza Clark, a senior at Villanova University, and the Chief Sock Intern for The Joy of Sox®, organizing 11 volunteers to pass out 597 pairs of new socks to the homeless.

Ken Steinhardt, of The Orange County (CA) REGISTER covered the sock pass out that Eliza Clark orchestrated.

Eliza Clark of Newport Beach helped improve the comfort of homeless people in Santa Ana, Wednesday morning, Nov. 22, as she and 11 volunteers passed out hundreds of pairs of new socks to those living around the Civic Center Plaza of the Flags.

Clark distributed the socks as part of her internship with the nonprofit The Joy of Sox®. She learned about the organization while studying Peace and Justice, with a minor in Communications, at Villanova University, where she’s now a senior. She earned the internship following a thank you letter she wrote after volunteering.

“I found homelessness frustrating,” said Clark, 21. “You don’t want to donate your old socks when going through your clothing because they’re dirty and gross. There’s a need for clean new socks among the homeless. Our goal is everyone has clean socks.”

Clark and her volunteers distributed the bundle of 597 new socks in about 15 minutes after being surrounded when they arrived at the plaza.

The happy Eliza Clark sock pass out team in Santa Ana, CA. They passed out 597 pairs of new socks to the homeless near the Santa Ana Civic Center. Eliza, a senior at Villanova University, is the Chief Sock Intern for The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that gives news socks to the homeless.
The happy Eliza Clark Sock Pass Out Team in Santa Ana, CA. They passed out 597 pairs of new socks to the homeless near the Santa Ana Civic Center. Eliza, a senior at Villanova University, is the Chief Sock Intern for The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that gives news socks to the homeless.

In return, they received many “Happy Thanksgiving” wishes.

For a link to the story click here.  For a pdf of the story click here.

The Joy of Sox is very grateful to Hyland’s in LA for donating the new socks that were given to the homeless.

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give six pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 246,200 pairs of new socks (almost a quarter of a million pairs!) to the homeless in 31 states and four countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

The Joy of Sox Earned 2017 TOP NONPROFIT Award From Great Nonprofits

The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that provides socks to the homeless, earned the TOP RATED NONPROFIT award from Great Nonprofits.
The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that provides socks to the homeless, earned the TOP RATED NONPROFIT award from Great Nonprofits.

The Joy of Sox® would like to extend a really special thanks to all of their fans, donors, interns, sock angels, volunteers, and board members who helped them earn this very prestigious award.  The award is special because only a small percentage of nonprofits get the Top-Rated rating.

According to the certificate:

“Your community has selected your organization as one of the 2017 Top-Rated Nonprofits using Great nonprofits.  You are among a distinguished few to receive this community endorsement.”

According to Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person and Founder, “This is humbling…to have such support from so many people. It make me realize that we are truly making an impact,  not only on the lives of the homeless we serve, but some volunteers as well. Thanks everybody.”

To see their profile and reviews on Great Nonprofit’s website page please click here.

If you’d like to know how to get involved in your community and/or make a donation, please send them an email or give them a call at 610-688-3318 (they are in suburban Philadelphia USA, east coast time). They would love to hear from you and explain how you can also make an impact.

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give six pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 228,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 31 states and four countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

 

School Poster Supporting a Sock Drive

School poster supporting a sock drive

One Million Warm Dry and Happy Toes Challenge for the Homeless™ by The Joy of Sox

At the St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service 2017 at Villanova University is Coach Jay Wright (2016 NCAA Champions!), Eliza Clark, Chief Sock Intern, and Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person and Founder The Joy of Sox (providing new socks for the homeless).
At the St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service 2017 at Villanova University is Coach Jay Wright (2016 NCAA Basketball Champions!), Eliza Clark, Chief Sock Intern, and Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person and Founder The Joy of Sox (providing new socks for the homeless).

One million is a BIG number…a really BIG number. But that’s the number of toes that the nonprofit The Joy of Sox® hopes to make warm, dry and happy as a result of a mailing campaign that was conducted on September 23rd at Villanova University as part of their annual St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service.

For the mail campaign, a “package” was mailed to 204 catholic and private schools in Philadelphia, the surrounding Pennsylvania suburbs, and areas in southern New Jersey and northern Delaware. The package contains a letter to the schools suggesting they consider a sock drive as a community service project, plus a few handouts about the nonprofit.

Eliza Clark, Chief Sock Intern at Villanova, said, “We also add a nice personal touch by having students hand write an individual note and put it with the letter to the schools. The schools like the personal note.”

So where does the 1,000,000 come from? Well according to Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person and Founder, “Of the 200 schools, let’s say 75% conduct a drive. No, let’s make that only 50% or 100 schools. And, if each school has a drive and collects a 1,000 pairs, that would 100,000 pair of new socks collected for the homeless!”

Costello continues, “The name is simple, but meeting this challenge will be…challenging. To give the campaign a fancy name we thought that 100,000 pairs on ten toes per person would equal one million. So the One Million Warm Dry and Happy Toes Challenge for the Homelesswas born!”

The Villanova University's Men's varsity tennis team help put together the mailing packages for the 4 Million Warm Dry And Happy Toes for the Homeless campaign for The Joy of Sox®. Pictured with the team, 4th from left, is Villanova Coach Jay Wright of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Champions. On the right is Eliza Clark, Chief Sock Intern, and Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person and Founder. The Joy of Sox is a nonprofit that give new socks to the homeless.
The Villanova University’s Men’s varsity tennis team help put together the mailing packages for the One Million Warm Dry And Happy Toes Campaign for the Homeless for The Joy of Sox®. Pictured with the team, 5th from left, is Villanova Coach Jay Wright of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Champions. On the right is Eliza Clark, Chief Sock Intern, and Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person and Founder. The Joy of Sox is a nonprofit that gives new socks to the homeless.

Tom adds, “If you’re a school around Philadelphia and didn’t get a letter and want to participate please email us and we can help you get set up. Plus, any school any place can collaborate with us (The Joy of Sox)!”

Eliza and Tom wonder if, or when, they collect the 100,000 pairs whether it would be some sort of a record. But whether it’s a record or not, The Joy of Sox and their Villanova helpers, would have done a wonderful thing by helping make one million homeless toes warm, dry and happy.

The campaign runs for the entire school year and ends at the end of May 2018. And if more schools from around Philadelphia or around the nation get on board maybe the number will be a lot more than one million!

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give six pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 228,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 31 states and four countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

August 2017 Newsletter – The Joy Of Sox

August 2017 Newsletter - The Joy of Sox providing joy to the homeless with new socks
August 2017 Newsletter – The Joy of Sox providing joy to the homeless with new socks

The August 2017 newsletter for The Joy of Sox® has been published and features four short sections about how they are providing new socks for the homeless.

The first section of “What’s Goin’ On” talks about their global impact – they recently handed out socks on the streets on London, UK.

The next section talks about sock distributions on the west coast (Anaheim, CA) and east coast (Cambridge, MA).  The west coast “sock pass out” was coordinated by a student from Villanova University, and the east coast event by a team from Harvard University.

The last two sections deal with events closer to their suburban Philadelphia location.  One is a sock drive by a local Catholic school, St. Joseph, Downingtown, PA.  The other is a woman’s church supper where Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person & Founder, was asked to speak.

If you’re interested in subscribing to the newsletter you’ll find a “join email list” button on the top of the newsletter page.

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give several pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 220,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 30 states and four countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

Some Girl Scouts with Certificates After Sorting Socks

Some girl scouts with certificates after sorting socks.

New Storage Facility for The Joy of Sox

The Joy of Sox's new storage facility in King of Prussia, PA.  The Joy of Sox is a nonprofit that provides joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.
The Joy of Sox’s new storage facility in King of Prussia, PA. The Joy of Sox is a nonprofit that provides joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.

The Joy of Sox® recently consolidated all its inventory of new socks into one location in King of Prussia, PA.  The nonprofit, who gives new socks to the homeless, needed the additional space to store their sock donations and the boxes of socks that volunteers put together ready for distribution to shelters.

Tom Costello, Jr, Chief Sock Person & Founder said, “This space is great.  It has easy access and will allow for a more efficient collection and distribution of socks.”  He also wanted to, “Thank all the volunteers, especially the ones from Cabrini University who helped bring about 4,000 pairs from the school.”

Last year The Joy of Sox donated 33,484 new pairs of socks to the homeless. This year they project donating over 40,000 pairs .

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give several pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 220,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 30 states and four countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

Sock Emoji Adopted by The Joy of Sox

The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit providing new socks for the homeless, adopted the new socks emoji, and is an official bronze sponsor.
The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit providing new socks for the homeless, adopted the new socks emoji, and is an official bronze sponsor.

There are emoji for lots of thing like ⚾️ baseballs and🎈 balloons.  And coming soon is an … emoji for SOCKS.

So The Joy of Sox, as an Official Bronze Sponsor, adopted the Socks Emoji.  The socks emoji is not officially released yet, but will be available on your favorite device this spring.

According to Tom Costello, Jr, Chief Sock Person & Founder, “This is so cool that we will probably use our adopted sock emoji on everything we write!”

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give several pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 215,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 30 states and four countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

Map of places The Joy of Sox has sent new socks for the homeless

What do London, UK, San Diego, CA, Charleston, SC, New York, NY, Bear, DE and Gambell, Alaska all have in common?

A Google map showing places that The Joy of Sox® has sent new socks for the homeless. The Joy of Sox is a nonprofit with a mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.
A Google map showing places that The Joy of Sox® has sent new socks for the homeless. The Joy of Sox is a nonprofit with a mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.

They are all places that The Joy of Sox® have recently sent new socks for the homeless and needy!  Clicking on the map will take you to their “map page” where you can see where the socks have gone.

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give several pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 215,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 30 states and four countries.  For more information please visit www.TheJoyOfSox.org.

People Magazine’s PeopleNow Features The Joy of Sox’s Tom Costello Jr

Pennsylvania Man, Tom Costello Jr, Helps Keep Feet of the Homeless Warm and Dry Through His "Joy of Sox'
Pennsylvania Man, Tom Costello Jr, Helps Keep Feet of the Homeless Warm and Dry Through His “Joy of Sox’

People Magazine’s PeopleNow ran a human interest story for their hometown hero segment about Tom Costello Jr and The Joy of Sox.

The story consisted of an article by Cathy Free and a short TV interview via Skype by PeopleNow host Andrea Boehlke.

On the show Tom respondents to three questions from Andrea

  1. Why were you afraid of the homeless?
  2. What are some common misconceptions about the homeless?
  3. How can people find out more and help?

A link to the PeopleNow TV segment is here.

The article talks about Tom overcoming his initial fear of the homeless and going on to start a nonprofit to provide a much needed, but rarely donated item of clothing – socks.

In the article, Gerald Gibbons, a medical student at Jefferson Medical School who helps run a JeffHOPE clinic for the homeless says socks are the number one requested item at the shelter.  He continues, “The guys absolutely love them. The importance of (new) socks in this population really comes into play when you recognize how many gentlemen have diabetes, which can cause numbness in the feet.”

Gibbons continues, “Clean socks can help prevent fungal infections and blisters, which can lead to open wounds.  One of the best feelings we get all week is when Tom drops off his socks at the shelter.  All the men smile and say. ‘How many socks do you have today?’

And Rachel Falkove, Executive Director of Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, says “Socks are something that everybody needs, but they rarely get donated.”  She continues, “When I see how eagerly Tom’s quality socks are accepted by the families we serve, I realize what an important service Tom is providing.  Each time he comes in with boxes of socks, he always makes us smile.”

The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission to give joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give several pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 204,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 29 states and three countries.

A link to a pdf file of the article is here.

A link to The Joy of Sox website is here.

Some Facts about New Socks for the Homeless

A homeless man getting new socks from The Joy of Sox at a clinic run by JeffHOPE medical students in Philly.
A homeless man getting new socks from The Joy of Sox at a clinic run by JeffHOPE medical students in Philly.

Why new socks for the homeless?   If you were asked what do you do with your old clothes when they wear our, or go out of style, like most people you’d probably say you donate them.  But what do you do with your old socks?  Mmmm.  You probably trash them because they have holes in them.

If we were homeless looking for a donation of clothes we’d get jeans, sweaters, shirts, but probably not new socks!  So, the vision of The Joy of Sox® is to solve that problem.  Their mission statement makes is clear and simple:  to provide joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.

But what is the medical community’s take on new socks for the homeless?  Here are some bullet points:

  • According to the Mayo Clinic, in cold enough conditions, frostbite can occur in 30 minutes or less! Warm, well-fitting socks can prevent this for many people.
  • Moisture-wicking socks are especially important for those facing the summer heat and humidity. By pulling sweat away from the skin, conditions such as infections and blisters can be prevented.
  • Many bacteria and fungi thrive in warm, moist environments. Access to clean, dry socks can go a long way in avoiding foot infections.
  • Poor circulation puts feet at risk every day. Proper socks can provide a simple, but important layer of protection between these feet and limb threatening conditions.
  • Clean, well-fitting socks are a vital part of keeping feet healthy! The impact is immediate and ongoing!
  • Wearing the right socks for the right activity can go a long way towards foot health. Those struggling with homelessness don’t have that option. But new socks help!
  • Clean and well-fitting socks are just as important as medication or insulin for those that deal with diabetes. Help save limbs by donating new socks.
  • 1 million Americans had Type 2 Diabetes in 2012. (American Diabetes Assoc.) Part of proper Diabetic foot care is access to appropriate sock wear.
  • A study out of Samuel Merritt University identifies foot and ankle health as an important public health concern for the homeless.
  • Socks can provide simple, but effective cushioning for painful foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes. This can make all the difference to someone who needs them!
  • Barefoot walking exposes feet to injury, infection and pain. Limbs can be saved with just a simple, “healthy” pair of socks!
  • Moisturizers for dry skin often penetrate better when socks are worn. Yet another reason why clean, well-fitting socks are so important for foot health!
  • Painful corns and callouses form from pressure and friction on the feet. Cushioned, clean socks are a great first step in preventing or slowing their formation.
  • Sepsis (or blood infection) can start from a simple blister on the foot. Healthy socks keep more than just feet healthy, they can save lives!
  • Athletes foot needs warm, moist areas to grow in. Dry socks provide a less hospitable environment for this uncomfortable condition.
  • Toenail fungus can lead to thickening, deformation and pain in the toenails. Socks help prevent the conditions that best allows fungus to grow.
  • Verruca plantaris (or Plantar Wart) is caused by a virus that enters the skin through sometimes microscopic cracks. Clean, dry socks can help block this virus from ever entering the foot!

Who knew how important those new socks, that most of us take for granted, can be?

A special thanks to Jennifer J. Spector, DPM, FACFAS – Cafengiu Podiatry and Sports Medicine, Marlton, NJ for providing the some of the important facts about new socks for the homeless.

 

Top Rated Nonprofit Award for The Joy of Sox

greatnonprofits-badge-2The Joy of Sox®, was just awarded TOP-RATED NONPROFIT for 2016 by GreatNonprofits!!  “This is really awesome,” says Tom Costello Jr, founder and Chief Sock Person.  He continues, “This would not be possible if it weren’t for our great volunteers and donors.  They make it all possible – thanks so very much.”

What Are the Top-Rated Awards? The GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Awards is the one and only people’s choice award where volunteers, donors, and people served by nonprofits are asked to share stories of inspiration, express their appreciation, and potentially help nonprofits earn a spot on the prestigious GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Nonprofits List.

And according to Software Advice, “The GreatNonprofits seal is the second most trusted rating seal, after the Better Business Bureau.”

The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit providing new socks for the homeless, received the 2016 TOP-RATED NONPROFIT award from GreatNonprofits.
The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit providing new socks for the homeless, received the 2016 TOP-RATED NONPROFIT award from GreatNonprofits.

The Joy of Sox is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission to give joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.  Their vision is to be able to give several pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year.  Founded in 2010 they have given over 193,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 28 states and three countries.

Clink here  to see their page at GreatNonprofits.  Click here to contact them.

Happy Volunteers After Sorting Socks

Happy volunteers after sorting socks

Villanova University helps The Joy of Sox provide new socks for the homeless

For the 2016 St Thomas of Villanova Day of Service the university’s women’s field hockey team helped The Joy of Sox® with a special project (pictures below).  The Joy of Sox is a nonprofit with the simple mission of providing joy to the homeless by giving them socks.  They receive a lot of their donations of new socks from sock drives conducted at schools and companies.

On Saturday September 24, 2016 members of Villanova University’s women’s field hockey team spent the morning signing letters and writing personalized notes to 174 Philadelphia area schools.  The letters and notes, along with several handouts about The Joy of Sox will be mailed to the schools suggesting that the they consider holding a sock drive as a school community service project.

In 2015, a similar project by Villanova students, resulted in about 25,000 pairs of new socks being donated and distributed to the homeless.  This year the goal is 30,000+.

Since the homeless rarely receive donations of new socks the outcome of this effort can have a tremendous positive impact on the daily lives of the homeless.

This model can be duplicated in other cities across the country.  If anyone is interested in starting a similar campaign in their area please check out The Joy of Sox’s website, and in particular the page about conducting a sock drive.  And also contact Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, by email or by calling 610-688-33318 (eastern time zone).

 

Giving new socks to the homeless in Philly

Giving new socks to the homeless in Philly next to Love Park.

It’s make you feel good inside when you get a “Thank you and bless you” after you hand a new pair of socks to a homeless person.

It’s also make you feel good when you see how the student volunteers from Arcadia University reacted to the experience of handing out over 550 pair of new socks.  They said they felt special in being able to help with something as basic as a pair of new socks.

In addition to handling out socks, volunteers also provided food, toiletries and clothing.  The event, in its second year, was sponsored by S.P.E.A.K. (Staying Positive Equals Amazing Kids) and coordinated by Cruz Rivera from Arcadia University.

To find out more about S.P.E.A.K. and their good work please click here to visit their website.

Thanks to Cruz and the other sponsors for letting us help make homeless toes healthy and happy toes!

Improved website security – HTTPS and Green Lock

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 8.58.24 AMThe Joy of Sox®, a nonprofit that provides new socks for the homeless, recently upgraded the security on its website.  Their site, TheJoyOfSox.org, now has HTTPS and a GREEN padlock in the address bar!

What does this mean and why does it matter?

Simply, it means the website is encrypted and secure. That protects any information that is entered on the website (name, address, etc.).  Their donate page has ALWAYS been encrypted, but now the entire site is.

Why did they spend the time and money to do this?

Internet security hacks, identity theft, spam and worse are becoming more prevalent.  So, Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, said “We owe it to anyone who visits our website, signs up for our newsletter, or makes a donation to know that their information is safe and secure behind the protection and encryption of HPPTS and the green padlock.”

Anyone who enters information into a website should check the address bar on their browser to make sure that the page has the HTTPS, showing that it is encrypted, and the green padlock to show that the site is verified.

The Joy of Sox received GuideStar’s Gold Participation level

The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that provides joy to the homeless by giving them new socks, received Guide Star's Gold Participant level award.
The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that provides joy to the homeless by giving them new socks, received Guide Star’s Gold Participant level award.

This is really a great thing!

Today The Joy of Sox received the GuideStar Exchange’s Gold Participant level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc, the premier source of nonprofit information.  This level demonstrates The Joy of Sox’s deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.

We have worked hard to showcase our progress toward our mission of providing new socks for the homeless, and our long-held belief in being transparent about our work, to our constituents.  As a GuideStar Exchange participant, we use their platform to share a wealth of up-to-date information about our work to our supporters and GuideStar’s immense online audience of nonprofits, grantmakers, individual donors, and the media.

In order to be awarded the GuideStar Exchange logo, we had to fill out every required field of our nonprofit report page on www.guidestar.org for the Gold level of participation.

Our GuideStar Profile

Please to check out our profile on GuideStar to see what we’re all about.  We continue to be engaged in exciting initiatives for the homeless, and we are thrilled to have another platform for communicating our advancement and progress.

Please Consider Giving us a Review

And…if you like what we are doing and you are a volunteer, board member, client served, advisor, professional in this area, or a general member of the public please consider giving us a review on GuideStar.  Thanks!!

The Joy of Sox and JeffHOPE at Our Brothers Place

Tom Costello Jr, left, founder of The Joy of Sox, give a new pairs of warm socks to Keith, a visitor at the homeless shelter Our Brother's Place in Philadelphia on March 3. At right is third-year medical student and director of the JeffHOPE Clinic at Our Brother's House which is fully run by volunteer Jefferson students. (Photo by Sarah Webb)
Tom Costello Jr, left, founder of The Joy of Sox, give a new pair of warm socks to Keith, a visitor at the homeless shelter Our Brother’s Place in Philadelphia on March 3. At right is Gerard Gibbons, a third-year medical student and director of the JeffHOPE Clinic at Our Brother’s House which is fully run by volunteer Jefferson students. (Photo by Sarah Webb)

The mission of The Joy of Sox is to give joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.   On Thursday March 3rd Tom Costello, Jr, founder and Chief Sock Person, made another deliver of new socks to Our Brother’s Place (OBP), a homeless shelter in Philadelphia.

Lou Baldwin (writer) and Sarah Webb (photographer) from CatholicPhilly.com were there to write a story about Tom and new socks for the homeless.

Also on Thursday evenings volunteer medical students from Jefferson Medical College’s JeffHOPE program are at OBP to hold a clinic.  The collaboration between JeffHOPE and The Joy of Sox is in it’s 4th year and really benefits the homeless.

Since new socks and regular medical care are something they need it makes sense to give the new socks to the JeffHOPE clinics and have the med students give them out as needed.

To read the full story on Catholic Philly click here. To find out more about JeffHOPE click here.  To learn more about The Joy of Sox click here.

Socks for Needle Exchange Program for Homeless and Needy

Pictured at 3rd and Girard Ave in Philadelphia with boxes containing 1,916 pairs of new socks for the homeless are (l-r) Clayton Ruley, Director at Prevention Point; Taylor Charest, 2nd year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College & JeffHOPE coordinator; Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, The Joy of Sox.
Pictured at 3rd and Girard Ave in Philadelphia with boxes containing 1,916 pairs of new socks for the homeless are (l-r) Clayton Ruley, Director at Prevention Point; Taylor Charest, 2nd year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College & JeffHOPE coordinator; Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, The Joy of Sox.

What a way to start the New Year!  The Joy of Sox®, a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks, donated 1,916 pairs of new socks on January 2nd to Prevention Point and JeffHOPE.

Prevention Point is a wonderful organization that among other things runs a needle exchange program for the homeless and needy.  Their mission is to reduce the harm associated with substance use and sex industry work by promoting health, empowerment and safety while advocating for humane public policies and programs.

JeffHOPE is a student-run organization of Sidney Kimmel Medical College that aims to improve access to health care for the homeless and underserved population of Philadelphia, as well as to educate students, residents, and faculty members about medical issues, homelessness and poverty.  They runs six clinics for the homeless in Philadelphia, including one for Prevention Point.

Pictured at 3rd and Girard Ave in Philadelphia with boxes containing 1,916 pairs of new socks for the homeless are (l-r) Clayton Ruley, Director at Prevention Point; Taylor Charest, 2nd year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College & JeffHOPE coordinator; Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, The Joy of Sox.

This is a great example of the collaborative work The Joy of Sox does to serve the homeless.

Year end metrics

Warm mistleTOES this holiday season from The Joy of Sox - a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.
Warm mistleTOES this holiday season from The Joy of Sox – a nonprofit that gives joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.

Since the mission of The Joy of Sox is to give joy to the homeless by giving them new socks I thought I’d share some of the metrics involved in doing this.

162,393 – Pairs of new socks given to the homeless

40,001 – Pairs of new socks donated this year

1,832  – People who like us on Facebook (we’re shooting for 2,500 by June 2016)

255 – Cardboard boxes 16″ x 16″ x 16″ used so far this year to pack new socks

103  – Internet attacks on our website (all blocked by our blocking software)

100’s – Number of people from around the country that have been inspired to help the  homeless with new socks

59  – Shelters in the Philadelphia area that we helped

57  – Shelters in other states that we have helped

26  – The number of other states, plus Wash D.C., where we have sent socks

25 – Different countries where Internet attacks came from

24  – People have made monetary donations from 24 different states

7 1/2  – Tons of socks we have given to the homeless (that’s a lot of socks!)

3  – Countries outside the USA where we have sent socks (Mexico, Afghanistan, Uganda)

3 – States that have passed resolutions about Valentine’s Day as Socks for the Homeless Day (PA, NY, ND – 47 to go!)

2 – Colleges and Universities that help with volunteers/interns (Villanova University, Cabrini College)

1  – Foreign country that we received a monetary donation from (Norway)

But the most important number isn’t a number at all – it’s YOU!  Everyone who helps and supports us!

Thanks so much for all that you do to help us with our vision of being able to give new socks to every homeless person in America!

 

Want to really help the homeless this holiday season? Donate new socks!

Want to really help the homeless this holiday season? Donate Socks. A very nice article by Michelle Woo of Reddit's Upvoted about The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that provides joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.
Want to really help the homeless this holiday season? Donate Socks. A very nice article by Michelle Woo of Reddit’s Upvoted about The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that provides joy to the homeless by giving them new socks.

Want to really help the homeless this holiday season? Donate new socks!  They’re among the most needed items at shelters.

This is a very nice article by Michelle Woo of Reddit’s Upvoted.  Thanks so much Michelle!

“Being without socks, especially during the cold and wet season, can lead to all sorts of foot ailments: blisters, fungus, frostbite, and in extreme cases, blood poisoning, and deep bone infections. But many homeless people don’t have clean, dry pairs of socks available.

In Reddit’s Today I Learned community, Reddit user ironypatrol pointed to the finding that socks are among the most needed—but least donated—items at homeless shelters.

According to Tom Costello Jr., founder and “Chief Sock Person” of Philadelphia-based nonprofit The Joy of Sox, new socks can even be more important than food since many homeless people have access to soup kitchens and pantries.

“If I ask people what they do with their old clothes, they’ll probably say they donate them,” Costello Jr. tells Upvoted. “But what about socks? Since their socks usually have holes in them, they’ll get trashed. So a homeless person going to a clothes distribution center might get shirts, sweaters and other clothing items, but not socks.” Since 2011, the organization has distributed nearly 157,000 pairs of new socks to the local homeless population.”

To read a pdf of the article click on the photograph.  To read the article on upvoted.com click here

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