By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on December 15, 2023.
Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre’s 23rd annual Sock It To ‘Em campaign received more than 5,000 pairs of socks to create their Sock Mountain with help from the Holy Spirit Catholic School Division, Lethbridge School Division and Palliser School Division.
Campaign co-ordinator Gail Petrie says no matter how many years the campaign has taken place, she continues to be happily surprised every year with the community’s support.
“We think we have approximately 5,500 pairs of socks and there might be more than that because Palliser’s numbers aren’t here,” said Petrie.
Â She explains that socks collected through the Palliser School division remain in their communities and that is why those socks are not part of their annual Sock Mountain.
When it comes to the importance of keeping in mind sock donations during the Christmas holidays when everyone is focusing on toys and other clothing items that are also needed, Petrie believes socks are essential to keep the homeless population warm.
“Our homeless people walk every place, the only thing they’ve got is their feet and they have to take care of their feet. It doesn’t matter if they’ve got a coat and scarf and gloves, when their feet are wet, they’re cold. We also have children in schools and all over that need socks as well,” said Petrie.
To date Petrie believes they have collected approximately 189,500 pairs of socks.
This year’s Sock Mountain was in part built by three students from St. Teresa of Calcutta School who were selected to attend after entering their name in a raffle upon donating a pair of socks. Grade 5 student Givin Smiljanec, Grade 3 student Mason Pyne and Grade 1 student Hannah Steacy.
“I think it’s very important for people to have a clean pair of socks every day so their feet don’t get infected, and it’s also around the holidays so it’s a good time to give presents,” said Smiljanec.
“It was really fun collecting socks and I think people deserve it when it’s this time of the year because it gets really cold,” said Steacy.
St. Teresa of Calcutta School principal Patty Pilsner told reporters the three selected students were extremely excited to attend the event and help build Sock Mountain.
“The energy they had, the whole ride here they were looking forward to know who was going to receive these socks and what the socks meant,” said Pilsner.
She said the collection was a community effort as they put the call out for socks as their advent walk in their faith piece, and a flood came in.
“I think it’s really important that the kids get involved and have that perspective, to think beyond their own worlds, beyond the classroom, beyond the school, even into the community and how they can support and look after those who are less fortunate than they are,” said Pilsner.
Follow @APulidoHerald on Twitter