Image courtesy Knock Knock Give A Sock

On November 7th, nonprofit organization Knock Knock Give A Sock (KKGS) is bringing over 5,000 pairs of socks to P.S. 188, a Lower East Side public school, where over 47% of students experience homelessness. 

Image courtesy Knock Knock Give A Sock

In spirit of the holiday season, the initiative ultimately hopes to donate 250,000 pairs of socks to the country’s homeless by Thanksgiving Day. The shipment, supplied by Hollywood producer Cash Warren’s sock company, Pair of Thieves, will bring the total number of pairs donated by KKGS to 350,000.

“While there are many social justice organizations out there, very few are tackling the problem of homelessness,” said Adina Lichtman, who founded KKGS in 2014. “Among young people, there are virtually none. It’s an untapped issue because it seems so big and overwhelming, but we can start somewhere small, like socks.”

The idea for the nonprofit came about one cold night in November, when Lichtman was out handing sandwiches to people experiencing homelessness. “It’s great that you’re giving out sandwiches,” a man who approached her stated. “…but one thing we really need is socks, especially as winter approaches.”

According to Lichtman, socks are the most needed, yet least donated article of clothing. This need becomes even more imperative as temperature drop — yet, many clothing drives still refuse to accept socks altogether. Lichtman, who noticed this problem, began collecting pairs from her peers and fellow dorm residents at New York University. KKGS arose out of this simple idea and has since established a presence on more than 30 college campuses.

Image courtesy Knock Knock Give A Sock

In addition to serving shelters, KKGS also works with underprivileged schools, rehab centers and medical clinics in shelters. Today, KKGS not only relies on dorm room donations, but also on corporate contributions. However, the organization continues to emphasize the significance of grassroots efforts by arranging dinners where corporate donors have the opportunity to sit and meet with members of the homeless community that receive the donations.

By Thanksgiving of next year, KKGS hopes to donate half a million socks.

Next, check out New York City’s Record Homelessness.