Thick sock season is here and the cool, damp days herald the launch of the Cool Aid Society bid to buy 10,000 pairs of socks.
The 16th annual fundraiser, started by Michael Bloomfield and Congregation Emanu-El in 2006, sees socks distributed through 25 organizations from Nanaimo to Victoria and Salt Spring Island. The goal is to raise $10,000 to buy 10,000 pairs of warm socks for people experiencing poverty and homelessness on the south Island.
The change in weather can spark a difference in foot health, explained Miranda Berniaz, the owner and operator of Victoria Foot Care.
“It might not be glamorous but warm, dry feet are such an important part of health care,” she said. The foot care nurse provides specialized service to clients at the Cool Aid Community Health Centre once a week.
“Our feet bear the brunt of most of our mobility. And for people on the streets who spend so much time moving from one place to another with all of their belongings, the challenges are even greater,” she said.
Most people take their feet for granted, but they can be a barometer for other things going on in the body, such as poor circulation and nerve damage.
“I spend an hour caring for a patient’s feet. Now imagine they have to put dirty, wet socks and shoes back on when we’re done. Clean, dry footwear makes all the difference,” Berniaz said.
The campaign has distributed 122,500 pairs of socks to thousands of people. Cool Aid buys the socks from PVH Legwear Canada at a deeply discounted price and La-Z-Boy Victoria donates the shipping. Last year, Kia Victoria joined the effort with a $5,000 matching campaign and will store and deliver socks.
“Doing something tangible for those in our community who are less fortunate is part of our corporate responsibility and an important part of our company culture. It’s a small something that we know makes a big difference to the people who receive the socks,” dealership owner Bethan Osterman said.
Donate online at coolaid.org/socks, by calling 250-383-1977 or at Kia Victoria. The campaign runs until Nov. 30.
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