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!!
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 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.
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!”
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.
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!
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!!!
Our primary outreach began in the greater Philadelphia area, however we now provide new socks to shelters across the United States whenever we can.
Over 181,693 pairs of new socks have been distributed to shelters as of June 26th, 2016! Read More
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’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!!
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!!
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!
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.
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
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.
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!!
Contact: Tom Costello, Jr.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHILADELPHIA, PA-May 12, 2011 ” What motivates out-of-school youth in Philadelphia to go back to school to earn a diploma? And what also motivates them to hold an end of semester service project where they are hosting a bar-b-que for the homeless? A group of students at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School feel that, regardless of their situation, there is always room to help the less fortunate.
On Thursday, May 19, from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Sullivan Building on N. Broad Street, 25 students will serve lunch to approximately 50 homeless residents from different shelters in the city. The students will also distribute socks, with goodies inside them as a special treat for the guests.
The idea for this project actually came from the students, said Willa Deitch, Community Projects Coordinator at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. Earlier in the year, Tom Costello Jr, from The Joy of Sox, spoke to students about how he helps the homeless by giving them much needed socks. He also brought two cases of sock ˜seconds” to be paired before they could be distributed. The students enjoyed the project and wanted to find a way to continue working with The Joy of Sox.â€
“It makes me feel like I’m really making a difference”, says Amika Miller, a YouthBuild student in the class. “We want to remind people that we’re there to support them and each other.”
For more information about this event, please contact Kristen Forbriger at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School at (610) 585-4819 or Tom Costello, Jr. from The Joy of Sox at 610-745-1075.
About Youth Build Philadelphia Charter School
YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School is an innovative alternative education program offering a second chance for former high school dropouts, ages 18-21, to earn their high school diploma while learning vital job skills. The comprehensive curriculum at YouthBuild combines rigorous academics, vocational training, community service, and counseling to help students establish and achieve post-secondary education and career goals.
About The Joy of Sox
The Joy of Sox is a 501(c)(3) organization that has a simple mission: to provide socks for the homeless. They also strive to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and the health problems that can be mitigated by something as basic as a pair of new socks.
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This is really humbling. My undergraduate alma mater, Villanova University included my nonprofit, The Joy of Sox, in their Spring 2011 issue on service.
What started out as an attempt to help out at a soup kitchen in Philly has really taken off. And I’d like to thanks Father Peter for the introduction, and Mercedes Ott and Shawn Proctor for producing and writing the piece.
With only a little over six months of actual operation we have already given out thousands of pairs of socks to the homeless and needy in and around Philly, plus eight states and Afghanistan. We have had schools conduct sock drives, strangers donate socks, donations appear in the mail and on Pay Pal, and volunteers show up out of almost nowhere. We even had a resolution passed in Harrisburg by the state senate declaring Valentine’s Day as “National Socks for the Homeless Day.”
I can’t wait to see what the next six months brings, as we continue to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless, and the health problems that can be mitigated by something a simple as a pair of socks.
A big Thank You from me, and an especially big thank you from all those who benefited from new socks!!
The other day a friend told me about a homeless man he knew, but hadn’t seen him in a while. When he saw the man again the man was using crutches. My friend asked, “What happened?” .
The homeless man went on to tell that he was walking around (as the homeless do to get from one place to another) and it was cold and rainy. His socks got soaked. But they were his only pair. So he wore them (cold wet socks) for many days.
His feet got infected with some sort of gangrene. He was fortunate not to have his toes amputated.
A pair of nice new socks could have prevented this.