Socks can be more important than food (for the homeless)

Did you know that new socks can be more important than food for the homeless?
 
Here’s a 2:25 audio clip of “Socks can be more important than food.”  Tom Costello Jr, founder and Chief Sock Person, for the nonprofit The Joy of Sox gives three quick examples, and the  impact, why new socks can be more important than food for the homeless.
 

 
What thoughts do you have about this?  Please send your comments to Tom.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits

2014 Greatnonprofit certificateA really special thanks to all of our supporters and fans who helped us earn this very cool 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 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofits using Great nonprofits.  You are among a distinguished few to receive this community endorsement.”

It is humbling to have such support.  And it also speaks to the grass-roots and community involvement that exists out there to help provide those much needed new socks for the homeless.

To see our Great Nonprofits web page please click here.

If you’d like to know how to get involved in your community and/or make a donation, please send us an email or give us a call at 610-688-3318 (we’re in suburban Philadelphia USA, east coast time).

We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks!!

 

Villanova Day of Service Delivers New Socks to the Homeless

Villanova University students giving back at the 2014 St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service.
Villanova University students giving back at the 2014 St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service.

Do college students care?

Well the students at Villanova University definitely do!!

7,488 pairs of new socks!  That a lot of socks – almost enough to give every homeless man, woman and child in the Philadelphia region one new pair of new socks!

How did that happen?

Well on Friday morning September 26th, 2014 members of the men’s soccer team gathered in the Connelley Center to sort through a massive pile of boxes and bags of new socks that have been donated to The Joy of Sox – a nonprofit that provides new socks for the homeless.

By the end of the morning the socks had been inventoried, sorted and packed into boxes for men, women and children.  The final count was a super impressive 7,488 pairs of new socks ready to be distributed to the shelters in the area.

That following day the boxes were delivered to various shelters in the area!!!!

So … do college students care?  That has to be an over resounding YES!!

Thanks Villanova for helping us make homeless toes healthy and happy toes!!

And a special thanks to Chrissy, Meghan, Grace, Chris and all the others involved!

Socks to Anchorage Alaska

Volunteers at Downtown Soup Kitchen, Anchorage Alaska
Volunteers at Downtown Soup Kitchen, Anchorage Alaska

New warm socks for cold feet!  One of our volunteers was headed to Alaska and heard about an event at the Downtown Soup Kitchen in Alaska.

They were having a Salmon event and also requesting donations of new clothes … and socks in particular.

So Gene brought a suitcase full of new socks to the event.  (Thanks so much Gene!!!).  People were thrilled primarily because people rarely donate their old socks.  Old socks are smelly and are probably threadbare so they get trashed.  Homeless get donations of sweaters, coats, etc, but hardly ever socks.

They were very appreciative.  And we are very happy to help.

FYI – here is some info from Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) “2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress” released in July 2009 (although a few years old it does open ones eyes) .

Who are the homeless in Alaska?
Based on the January 2009 single-night count, Alaska’s homeless number 4,583 persons. (The total state population in July 2008 was estimated at 679,200.) This figure includes individuals who meet HUD’s definition of homeless, as well persons temporarily housed in a motel or with family/friends:

  • 93% (4,256 persons) were “sheltered,” which includes living in emergency shelters, transitional shelters, with extended family and/or friends, or temporarily in motels.
  • 7% (327 persons) were “unsheltered,” which includes living in a place not meant for human habitation such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, or on the street.
  • Among the sheltered, 57.5% were households with children.
  • Among the unsheltered, 23.5% were households with children.

This 2009 count (including sheltered and unsheltered persons) showed the following figures for homeless subpopulations:

  • Almost 9% are chronically homeless.
  • Nearly 14% have chronic substance abuse issues.
  • Over 7% are victims of domestic violence.
  • About 6% are veterans.
  • Approximately 11% are severely mentally ill.
  • Nearly 3% are unaccompanied youth under the age of 18.
  • Less than 1% have HIV/AIDS.

Want to know more?  Drop us an email at
info@TheJoyOfSox.org
.

 

 

Comcast Newsmakers and The Joy of Sox

Our friends at Comcast were nice enough to invite us back on Newsmakers.  A very special thanks to Jen Boyette, Comcast’s Governemnt Affairs Manager, and Jill Horner, on-air host, for allowing me to tell our story about providing new socks for the homeless!!

 

Comcast NewsMakers – The Joy of Sox (for the homeless) – Pres Bush (41)

Comcast graciously had Tom Costello Jr  on their Comcast Newsmaker program for the Philadlephia region (again).  But this time it was to talk about a sock donation from a very special person…President George Bush (41)!

The show, hosted by Laura Jones and arranged by Jen Boyett, runs about 4:30 and allowed Tom to talk about how you can help support The Joy of Sox…and especially  about sock donation can help raise funds to support our mission of providing new socks for the homeless.

The clip of the show appears below.  A blog post below talks more about the socks.

A special thanks to Laura and Jen for making this so special.

Other videos about The Joy of Sox can be found here: The Joy of Sox’s YouTube Channel.

President Bush (41) donates socks to The Joy Of Sox for a fundraiser for the homeless

This is amazing!IMG_1320

President George Bush (41), who is known for wearing unusual socks, donated a new pair of socks in support of our mission.

We hope to auction them off and raise lots of money.

IMG_1321

The pair of socks were beautifully framed (see photo top) and includes the note card from the President (see photo bottom).  The frame measures about 23 ⅞ inches wide by about 25 ¼ inches high.

The framed socks really look…presidential!

Comcast Newsmakers was nice enough to do a show where Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, talks about the importance of socks for the homeless, President George Bush’s socks and how people can help.  The YouTube video can be seen here.

Thank you President Bush for helping us make lots of homeless toes healthy and happy toes!

The Joy of Sox earns Top-Rated Nonprofit from GreatNonprofits

The Joy of Sox earns 2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit award from GreatNonprofits
The Joy of Sox earns 2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit award from GreatNonprofits

This is really super!  The Joy of Sox recently qualified for a 2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award.

The award, from GreatNonprofits.org, is a great honor that is given less than 10% of eligible nonprofits.

A special thanks to all our donors, board members and volunteers who helped, and continue to help, make us a get nonprofit!

(clicking on the image will take you to our GreatNonprofit page)

 

 

 

Sock Drives

Three of the Moms at Shir Ami Synagog in Newtown, PA who helped organize a sock drive to provide new socks for the homeless for The Joy of Sox

Conducting sock drives is a fun activity and a great way to both raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and the problems they have from not having new socks.

Sock drives can be held in your school, church, workplace, favorite store…or anyplace.

The Joy of Sox earns GuideStar’s Silver Seal

The Joy of Sox earned GuideStar's Silver Participation level
The Joy of Sox earned GuideStar’s Silver Participation level

This is really a great thing!

Today The Joy of Sox received the GuideStar Exchange’s Silver 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 Silver 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!!

ComcastNewsmakers features The Joy of Sox

Comcast graciously had Tom Costello Jr on their ComcastNewsmaker program for the Philadlephia region.  The show, hosted by Laura Jones and arranged by Jen Boyett, runs 4:30 and allowed Tom to answer some questions about The Joy Of Sox and their mission of providing new socks for the homeless.  The clip of the show appears below.

A special thanks to Laura and Jen for making this so special.

Other videos about The Joy of Sox can be found here: The Joy of Sox’s YouTube Channel.

WORLD RECORD new sock distribution to the homeless

Some students from Villanova University sorting and packing new sock for the homeless for The Joy of Sox.
Some students from Villanova University sorting and packing new sock for the homeless for The Joy of Sox.

A WORLD RECORD number of new socks were distributed recently to the homeless of the Philadlephia area.

15,120 pairs of new socks were sorted, packed and distributed to 28 homeless shelters in the Philadlephia area!!

With the cold weather approaching the timing was perfect to get the socks to those who need them.

The Joy of Sox, a nonprofit that provides new socks for the homeless, was supported by the Villanova University’s women’s soccer and volleyball teams as part of the university’s St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service.

Approximately  65 students and volunteers gathered on campus to sort and pack the new socks into boxes that would be delivered to shelters over the next few days.

What a super effort by everyone involved.  And the new socks on the street will go a long way to making a lot of homeless toes happy toes!

Comcast Community Cares Days helps us get new socks for the homeless

Socks donated by Comcast Cares being sorted by students from Villanova University
Socks donated by Comcast Cares being sorted by students from Villanova University

It’s great to see a large corporation like Comcast give back to the community.  And we were very fortunate to benefit from their sense of corporate social responsibility.

The service center in Aston, PA held a sock drive earlier in the year and to our surprise the Comcast Foundation recently sent us a nice donation to show their support for their employees and The Joy of Sox.

The photo on the right show some students from Villanova University that helped sort, pack and deliver some of the new socks to homeless shelters around the Philadelphia area.

Thanks so much Comcast for helping make homeless toes happy toes!

 

The Joy of Sox awarded the e-Chievement Award by eTown for their work providing new socks for the homeless

Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, The Joy Of Sox, receiving the prestigious e-Chievement award from Helen and Nick Foster of eTown
Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, The Joy Of Sox, receiving the prestigious e-Chievement award for providing new socks for the homeless from Helen and Nick Forster of eTown

The Joy of Sox® was honored with eTown‘s prestigious e-Chievement Award® last week in Boulder, CO.  Nick and Helen Forster, founders of eTown, made the presentation to Tom Costello, Jr , Chief Sock Person.

The award is periodically given to selected nonprofits based on the criteria of  “Celebrating those who are making a positive difference in their community and beyond.”

eTown is also a nonprofit and has the mission of combining music, ideas and community.  They hold a weekly music session where artists perform and are then interviewed by Nick.  On the evening when Tom received the award the first performer was John Fulbright, a Grammy nominated singer.  Following John’s first set he was interviewed by Nick then played another song.

Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, The Joy Of Sox, received the prestigious e-Chievement award for providing new socks for the homeless from Helen and Nick Forster of eTown
Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person, The Joy Of Sox, received the prestigious e-Chievement award for providing new socks for the homeless from Helen and Nick Forster of eTown

Tom then went on stage and had a nice conversation with Nick about the mission and impact The Joy of Sox has on the homeless.  Helen and Nick then presented the award.

After the award Bahamas did a set and was also interviewed.

The show will air on over 300 stations from September 25th – October 1st across the US, depending on the day and time that the individual affiliate stations air the show.

Many stations also stream over the web, so you can listen from their websites, anywhere in the world. eTown also podcasts the show. To find  out how and where to tune in you can click this eTown link.

A super thanks to eTown – especially Helen, Nick, Steph and Margo – for recognizing The Joy of Sox and the work they do providing new socks for the homeless.

Order of Eastern Star holds sock hop to benefit the homeless and The Joy of Sox

The Joy of Sox presents a certificate of appreciation to members of the Order of Eastern Star for collecting new socks for the homeless during their sock hop event in Valley Forge, PA.
The Joy of Sox presents a certificate of appreciation to members of the Order of Eastern Star for collecting new socks for the homeless during their sock hop event in Valley Forge, PA. Pictured L to R: Joseph Lee, Janice C. Harvey, Tom Costello Jr (Chief Sock Person – The Joy of Sox), Claire Murphy, Dr. Murphy J. Keiler, III.

The Order of Eastern Star held a sock hop in Valley Forge, PA.  Members were asked to bring new socks for the homeless to benefit the nonprofit The Joy Of Sox.

Rowinea (Ro) Wooten was co-chair of the event for the Deborah Grand Chapter and did a spectacular job organizing their event.

Over 400 pairs of new socks were donated and they will be delivered to shelters in the Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburg areas of Pennsylvania.

The picture on the right shows a certificate of appreciation that was presented to members of the Order of Eastern Star for collecting new socks for the homeless during their sock hop event in Valley Forge, PA. Pictured L to R: Joseph Lee, Janice C. Harvey, Tom Costello Jr (Chief Sock Person – The Joy of Sox), Claire Murphy, and Dr. Murphy J. Keiler, III.

 

The way we think about charity is wrong – rethinking nonprofit fundraising

Why, in the for-profit world can a company spend tons on marketing and advertising in order to make tons on their product, yet…

in the nonprofit world it is almost considered criminal if they even say the words marketing and advertising?

Below is a great TED talk given by Dan Pallotta that addresses the “discrimination” that nonprofits face in the areas of: hiring, advertising and marketing, risk of pursuing new ideas, time frame for success, and making a lot of money for their cause.  It’s really special.

Please read or listen to it and let me know your thoughts.

For just a link to his talk click here.

Funding discrimination: Nonprofit v. for-profit world

We will be periodically adding comments about Dan’s talk and how it relates to the real world problems of getting financial support for items like operations, advertising, and the dreaded word….overhead.  Again it’s the discrimination thing that nonprofits face in raising funds.

In general people think that nonprofits should minimize the amount they spend on overhead (advertising, marketing, IT, salaries, etc…).

But take any successful company from Apple to Zappos…where would they be without spending or investing massive amounts on advertising, marketing, IT and salaries?

Spend minimum on fundraising – get minimum return

So would an “investor” in The Joy of Sox, who really wants to support our mission of providing new socks for the homeless, really want us to spend the minimum on fundraising.  For example, would they rather have us put up posters in the local convenience store advertising our bake sale fundraiser and net $250.  But hey, we only spent 2% from the fundraising budget.  Is that the success they are looking for?

Or would more good be accomplished if we held a huge fundraiser and raised $250,000?

But someone with the eye of the “nonprofit police” may complain that we spend, heaven forbid, 40% on fundraising.  But we netted $250,000!!!

It’s the results, not the overhead!

What’s wrong with the thinking that nonprofits need to minimize overhead expenses, while in the successful for profit world their “for profit police” look for at the results and aren’t overly concerned about what percentage of budget went into a marketing item.

In order for the nonprofit sector to prosper and grow we must change the thinking that it’s not the percentage that goes to pay, say the the PR firm, but rather the number of people who are helped by our program!

 

Charms Inc collects new socks for the homeless

A local chapter of Charms Incorporated presented Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person of The Joy of Sox, with over 800 new pairs of socks for the homeless.  Pictured with Tom are (l to r) Joyce Gibbs, Barbara Monley and Pat Matthews.
A local chapter of Charms Incorporated presented Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person of The Joy of Sox, with over 800 new pairs of socks for the homeless. Pictured with Tom are (l to r) Joyce Gibbs, Barbara Monley and Pat Matthews.

A special thanks to Pat Matthews and her local Charms Incorporated group for holding a sock drive for The Joy of Sox.  This is the second year in a row that they have collected new socks for the homeless!

Lot of new socks

The over 800 pairs of new socks will be distributed to the homeless of the Philadelphia region over the next two weeks.

Charms Incorporated

Charms Incorporated in a national social, civic and cultural organization of women with the motto: “Smile, help your fellowman and aspire to greater things!”

Well…they certainly did that!!

Thank you so much Joyce, Barbara and Pat!

Map of facilities for the homeless around Philadelphia

Our map of the homeless shelters around Philadelphia.  The flags represent facilities in Philly where The Joy of Sox either presently provides new socks, or plans to provide new socks.
Our map of the homeless shelters around Philadelphia. The flags represent facilities in Philly where The Joy of Sox either presently provides new socks, or plans to provide new socks.

Someone asked about the locations of homeless shelters around Philly.  So here is what we use – a map.

The pins in the map represent the location of facilities in Philly where The Joy of Sox either presently provides new socks, or plans to provide new socks.

The map is actually a lot bigger and covers an area from Trenton and Camden, NJ to Chester and Norristown, PA.  This visual helps us when we set up distribution schedules.

 

 

Comcast collects new socks for the homeless

Comcast Cares support The Joy of Sox - providing new socks for the homeless
Comcast Cares support The Joy of Sox – providing new socks for the homeless

A special thanks to Samantha McDevitt at Comcast for organizing a sock drive for us for their Comcast Cares program!!

Lots of new socks

Two service centers, Aston, PA and Vorhees, NJ, collected over 3,000 pairs of new socks for The Joy of Sox. These new socks will be distributed to the homeless of the region over the next two weeks.

Corporate social responsibility

Instances like this, where a large corporation, encourages their employees to get involved in activities that support the local community are really heartwarming.

Thank you so much Comcast for taking an active role with your corporate social responsibility programs!

GuideStar Exchanges's Bronze level of participation for The Joy of Sox

The Joy of Sox earns Guidestar’s Bronze Seal

GuideStar Exchanges's Bronze level of participation for The Joy of Sox
GuideStar Exchange’s Bronze level of participation for The Joy of Sox

This is really a great thing!

Today The Joy of Sox received the GuideStar Exchange’s Bronze 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 Bronze 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!!

 

New York State Resolution – Socks for the Homeless Day

New York State passes resolution declaring February 14th, Valentines Day, as Socks for the Homeless Day.
New York State passes a resolution for The Joy of Sox declaring February 14th, Valentines Day, as Socks for the Homeless Day.

The New York State Legislature passed a Resolution declaring February 14th, Valentine’s Day, as Socks for the Homeless Day.

This is really cool…and important.  Why important?  Well most people are generous between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.  But come the new year donations come to an abrupt stop.

The idea of the resolution is to help raise awareness of the plight of the homeless without socks during February…and on Valentine’s Day.

So in addition to remembering a loved one, sending flowers, or calling your mom, please remember the homeless during February.  You can help them by donating to The Joy of Sox.  And your tax-deductible gift will go a long way in making homeless toes happy toes!

Actually the homeless, who tend to wear their sock 24/7, need new socks all year long…so you don’t have to wait until next Valentine’s Day to help support our mission!

More Stories From The Streets

CBC logoEye-opening stories about the importance of new socks for the homeless have been added to our Stories From The Streets  page.

Read what homeless people Kiwi, Christine, Darlene, Daniel, Has, Ruth and William have to say about the important of new socks.

There are 11 short interviews in all.  Here are quotes from two of them:

“I had that happen to me about three times so far, and basically the bottom of your feet rot until the point where your skin actually starts to die.”

“Even like the subtlest things, like a pair of socks can make the biggest difference in the world.”

Click Stories From The Streets to read (or listen) to all of them.

Wrong (and very low) Number of Homeless Reported by HUD

According to Kathy at the Hospitality Center in Norristown, PA they served between 1,000 – 1,200 distinct clients at their shelter in the last year.

Yet according to HUD’s 20111 Point in Time Estimate of Homeless (12/2011), page 21,  there are only 410 homeless in the Norristown area.

What’s wrong with this picture??

What’s wrong is HUD truly underestimates the homeless population – in this case by a factor of almost three!!

This misrepresentation affects many things…including funding to support social services and the homeless population.

I wish I had an answer to those who ask me to support a higher number of homeless than the “official government numbers.”

 

 

PHL17’s Steve Highsmith & Tom Costello Jr – The Joy of Sox (new socks for the homeless)

PHL17’s Steve Highsmith interviewed Tom Costello Jr, Chief Sock Person at The Joy of Sox on the station’s InFocus show. Steve and Tom talked about The Joy of Sox’s mission of providing new socks for the homeless.

The video is about 26 minutes so you will probably not look at the entire clip, but perhaps you can try it for a few minutes.

Your comments?

ADP offices across the USA donate new socks

ADP logoADP, the national payroll, human services & benefits company is great!!

Donation of new socks have been received from all across the United States including their offices in:

  • St. Louis, MO
  • Westerville, OH
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Bloomington, MN
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Chicago, IL
  • Chandler, AZ
  • Dearborn, MI
  • Independence, OH

Thank you so much ADP for helping make homeless toes happy toes!

Interns for Spring 2013 for The Joy of Sox

This week was intern interview week! 

Three students from Villanova University were interviewed to help us during the spring semester 2013.  Two interviews were face-to-face and one was via Skype from Belgium!

What a great group of people and I am already planning all the wonderful things we can accomplish with such talent on board.  The efficiency and reach of our mission of providing new socks for the homeless will definitely expand in 2013.

And we need a new name for “interns.” 

How about “Associate Chief  Logistics Sock Person,” or “Associate Chief Organizer Sock Person?”  Although we deal with a serious issue (homelessness) we need to have fun titles.  Any suggestions?

Crozer-Keystone Health System donates new socks for the homeless

Juliette Turturro, Tom Costello Jr, Katrina Stier with a certificate for collecting new socks for the homeless and The Joy of Sox
Juliette Turturro, Tom Costello Jr, Katrina Stier with a certificate for collecting new socks for the homeless and The Joy of Sox

Crozer-Keystone Health System donates new socks for the homeless.  Juliette Turturro, one of our board members contacted Katrina Stier, PR Manager at Crozer, and made arrangements for them to conduct a sock drive.

394 pairs of new socks for the homeless were collected and will be distributed to shelters in the region.  The photo is of (l-r) Juliette, Tom Costello, Jr, Chief Sock Person, and Katrina.

Thanks so much to the staff at Crozer-Keystone and Juliette and Katrina!

New label for sock delivery

Here’s a look at our new label for The Joy of Sox.  The label is placed on every box of new socks for the homeless that we deliver or ship.

This particular one shows that the box contains 120 pairs of new socks for women and that the box was packed by students from Villanova University.

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving sock distribution in Camden NJ

Thanksgiving for the homeless - Cathedral Kitchen, Camden NJ.  New socks provided by The Joy Of Sox
Thanksgiving for the homeless – Cathedral Kitchen, Camden, New Jersey

Our Thanksgiving tradition – delivering new socks for the homeless to Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, New Jersey.

This morning we drove to Camden and delivered 610 pairs of new socks for the men, women and children who attended the holiday meal.  It was a great event for families with children as there were art activities, balloon animals and face painting.

The Kitchen anticipated that they will serve dinner to about 450 – 500 individuals this year.

A blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

 

Villanova Nurses Help Homeless Feet

Villanova Nursing Without Borders tending to the feet of the homeless (The Joy of Sox - new socks for the homeless)On Friday November 16th a group of nurses from Villanova University’s Nursing Without Borders (NWB) visited the Catholic Worker clinic in the Kensington section of Philadlephia.  They attended to the feet of the homeless – warm soaking foot baths, massage, removing callouses, etc.  They served about 50 homeless men and women.

The Joy of Sox provided two cases of new socks for the men and women at the clinic making homeless toes happy toes.

It was a very moving experience and I could tell by the expression on their faces that the “patients” really appreciated what the nurses did.

(the photo is from Villanova.edu and shows nurses at the clinic earlier in the year)

 

 

O Magazine and The Joy of Sox

Tom Costello Jr and The Joy of Sox, O Magazine, December 2012, page 42O Magazine published a small blurb about Tom Costello Jr and The Joy of Sox.  This is so cool – December 2012 issue, page 42 on the bottom.  I do not have a link to the article yet, but here’s the story.

HEART AND SOLE – Helping the homeless get off on the right foot.  While volunteering at a Philadelphia soup kitchen in 2007, Tom Costello, Jr learned that many of the foot-related afflictions from which homeless people suffer – swelling, blisters, skin infections, even frostbite – can be avoided by wearing new, dry socks.  But because socks generally aren’t included in charitable clothing donations, most people in need go without them.  “I know I had to be the sock guy,” he says.

So Costello founded The Joy Of Sox, which distributes donated socks to shelters across the country.  He gets the word out through social media, local sock drives, and a mascot, Joy the Sock Puppet, who accompanies Costello on speaking trips.  He even persuaded the Pennsylvania State Senate to recognize February 14 as National Socks for the Homeless Day.  It’s a small victory for more than the 14,000 homeless in Pennsylvania, but Costello isn’t daunted.  “I once ran a marathon,” he says, “and someone asked me how I did it.  I said, ‘One block at a time.’  you do it little by little.”

Plus a special thanks and a big hug to two super people:   Sarah Zobel, my favorite free lance writer who persevered to get the story placed.

And Ann Marie Casey photographer extraordinaire who took my photo.  Check out her work here.

 

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church invites The Joy of Sox to talk during services

St Martins newsletter Tom Costello Jr The Joy of Sox socks for the homeless

Rev. Chris Bishop, Pastor of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Radnor, PA had these nice words to say about Tom and The Joy of Sox.

“Today I had one of those spine-tingling moments, when you see or hear something that sparks a deep recognition of another’s humanity and unexpectedly shakes your world. I met with Tom Costello Jr, the founder of The Joy of Sox, a non-profit that collects new socks for people living in the streets without homes (homeless), who will be our guest lay preacher on Sunday.

I had expected to meet a nice person with a big heart who was out to do good things for other people. Instead, the man I met told me a story of profound personal transformation that deeply shifted his experience of living, and set him on a path to help heal the world, one naked, blistered, unwashed foot at a time. Come prepared to have your spirit moved, and don’t forget to bring socks and plenty of ’em!”

Villanova University Day of Service 8,299 pairs of socks for the homeless

Ingite Change! Go Nova banner on the campus
Ignite Change! Go Nova banner on the campus

Seventy three Villanova University student athletes from the women’s field hockey and men’s soccer teams participated in the University’s Day of Service by sorting, boxing and inventorying 8,299 pairs of new socks!!

And later in the afternoon student leaders delivered 2,024 pairs to several shelters in the Philadelphia area!

This was truly a wonderful event and we are grateful to Villanova University for including The Joy of Sox as one of their causes.

We are also grateful to Injinji Performance Socks and GoldToe/Gildan for their generous donation of new socks.

 

Joy The Sock Puppet® has her own trademark

Joy The Sock Puppet now has her own trademark! The Joy of Sox - new socks for the homeless.
Joy The Sock Puppet now has her own trademark!

Joy The Sock Puppet® now has her own official trademark!!  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued registration number 4,174,257 on July 17, 2012.

She is pretty excited about this and will probably celebrate by getting her hair done!

She is also getting ready for her series of videos about the plight of the homeless.  They should be ready in the fall.

And maybe in September Joy will get to meet a really really famous puppet in person. Can you guess who that might be?  Think tall.  Think yellow.  Think bird.

Stay tuned for more on that!

Shop online. Automatic donations to The Joy of Sox with iGive.

Click on logo to learn more about donating to The Joy of Sox simply by shopping online!
Click on logo to learn more about donating to The Joy of Sox simply by shopping online!

This is really cool.

Imagine every time that you shop online The Joy of Sox automatically gets a percentage of you purchase as a donation.

All you have to do is click on the iGive logo on the right and sign up for the service with your browser.  Then whenever you shop for something on line at over 1,061 sites like Home Depot, 1-800-Flowers, Banana Republic, Amazon, Dell, Staples, QVC (but you need to set up the Amazon link through iGive – it’s so easy, even I was able to do it!)

Click here to see the current  list.  Even Orbitz and PETCO.

The Joy of Sox gets $5.00 when you sign up for the service and keep the iGive icon on your browser for 90 days.

Plus, we get another $5.00 after your fist purchase.

Imagine if 500 people sign up and buy something. That could equate to $5,000 signup bonus.  That’s a lot of socks and happy toes!!

Imagine if 1,275 people sign up and buy something…a $12,750 sign up bonus!!  And if everyone in New Jersey signed up we could get $88,211,550!!

Check it out…then tell your friends…tell your relatives…tell everybody!

Send them this link.

And our Facebook page will give you weekly update on how we are doing.

THANKS SO MUCH!!!

 

 

 

 

Who We’ve Helped

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Organizations Served By The Joy of Sox

Our primary outreach began in the greater Philadelphia area, however we  now provide new socks to shelters across the United States whenever we can.

Impact

Over 181,693 pairs of new socks have been distributed to shelters as of June 26th, 2016!

The Birth of Joy The Sock Puppet®

Much thanks to Ward Vanhaute, Prop Master for the Villanova University Theater Department for his spectacular creation of a muppet-like Joy.

His ability to build a puppet better the puppet vision I had in my head was amazing.

This is the video of me meeting Joy for the first time. I was so excited I almost cried.  But Joy has a serious job as National Spokes-Puppet.

Her job is to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and the foot health problems they have because they do not have new clean socks.  Stay tuned for more on this serious issue.

 

Main Line Media News covers sock sorting event

Bob Breeser packages socks for the homeless for The Joy of Sox
Bob Breeser packages socks for the homeless for The Joy of Sox

Main Line Media News’s Alan Thomas stopped by at a recent sock sorting, pairing, packaging event.  He talked to a lot of people and took a lot of pictures. And his story got published!  Front page!

Click here to read the story.

Thanks Alan and all the volunteers who made the event possible!!

Radnor21’s Sam Strike interviews Tom Costello Jr

Sam Strike, host of Radnor21’s Radnor Patch, interviewed Tom about his nonprofit The Joy of Sox.  Afterwards Tom said that the experience was great, although he doesn’t see any expectations of an oscar nomination.

He also thanked Sam, who made a personal donation of a bag of new socks.  Thanks Sam!!

Website Back

The Joy of Sox - providing socks for the homeless
The Joy of Sox - providing socks for the homeless

After a few days for frustration our website is back up.  Not yet 100%, but almost there!

A big THANK YOU to all who helped get us back on line.  But an even BIGGER thank you to our friends, volunteers and website viewers for your patience while we were offline!

Concept sketches for Joy The Sock Puppet

Concept sketches for the new Joy The Sock Puppet
Click the Concept sketches for the new Joy The Sock Puppet to see a bigger image.

Which one do you like?  Or don’t like?

We are getting ready to do a “complete makeover” for Joy The Sock Puppet, our Official Sock Puppet.

She plans to be our National Spokes Puppet for the plight of the homeless and the horrendous health problem they have because they do not have clean new socks.

The second prototype and current Joy The Sock Puppet
The second prototype and current Joy The Sock Puppet

 

 

Part of her job is to go to places where sox drive are held and tell the story about homeless and socks.

She also wants to do a video with some more puppet friends and be on GMA.  She definitely has some big ideas how to raise awareness.

So…we’d like you opinions, comments, thoughts and suggestions. Email Joy at Joy@TheJoyOfSox.org

Google

Google “socks for the homeless”

Most homeless people really need socks!

When you Google “socks for the homeless” you might get over 4,480,000 hits. But when you look closer you may only find a few organizations that might be of interest to you.

However, it really doesn’t matter whether you help any of the 4,480,000 or The Joy of Sox. What is important is you that help out with an organization that you really can connect with and are passionate about. If it’s an organization that works with teens in San Francisco or a group that is working with migrant workers it doesn’t matter.

Pick one that resonates with you and become passionately involved with that organization. Share you time, treasure and talents with that nonprofit.  The world will be a better place if you do.

If you happen to like the concept of The Joy of Sox please click here or on the “What we do” tab above.

Happy Toes

Some socks for happy toes for the homeless - The Joy of Sox

The goal of our 1.2 Million Happy Toes Initiative – Philadelphia is to provide one pair of new socks ever month to every homeless person around the Philadelphia area.

Trademark received for The Joy Of Sox®

The Joy of Sox, providing socks for the homeless, received a trademark from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The Joy of Sox® was registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on July 16, 2011, registration number 3,997,348.

The registration means that the name “The Joy Of Sox” is now protected under U.S. patent and trademark laws from others using the same name.

The trademark is granted for: charitable services, namely, providing socks to needy persons,

This is really cool!!