November 21, 2018 2:07 pm
Updated: November 22, 2018 7:04 am

Montreal Sock It To Me campaign collects socks for the homeless


During Montreal’s cold winter months when windchill can make it feel like -28, it takes 10 minutes for exposed feet to freeze. Conditions like these make it even harder for people living on the streets, but one Montreal man started an initiative to hopefully make their lives a little bit easier.

Barry Christensen started Montreal Sock It To Me to give clean, dry socks to the less fortunate during the winter months.

“Dry feet is a big issue for homeless in the wintertime,” Christensen said.

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This year is the fourth annual sock drive which benefits St. Michael’s Mission in downtown Montreal.

The drive runs from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. Donations can be dropped off at the Trading Post in Pointe-Claire. For those who would like to contribute but can’t drop off socks, you can make an e-donation on Montreal Sock It To Me’s Facebook Page.

READ MORE: Montreal homeless centre at risk of closing

With an online donation of $11.50, Christensen is able to purchase a 20-pack of socks from Walmart.

He has been receiving donations not only from Montreal but also Ontario and even as far as Florida.

“I’ve had e-donations from people that I don’t even know who believe in the cause,” he said.

E-donation sent to Montreal Sock It To Me.

Montreal Sock It To Me/ Facebook

Christensen has been a paramedic for 37 years, which allowed him to closely work with at-risk communities. He founded Montreal Sock It To Me after working alongside outreach workers, the homeless and St. Michael’s at Berri-UQAM metro for 10 years.

It was at the Metro where he got to know the homeless a little bit more.

“I got to hear their stories, where they are from, and their education. One man was an engineer and one man talked about his family,” Christensen said. “I left and I wanted to help more.”

READ MORE: Montreal women’s shelters raise alarm over lack of beds for homeless women

In its first year, Montreal Sock It To Me collected around 450 pairs of socks. Last year, Christensen collected just under 2,200 pairs.

Montreal Sock It To Me doesn’t discriminate against other kinds of donations. Anything helps, Christensen says — winter coats, coffee, even baby socks.

“I don’t say no,” Christensen said.

Once all donations are collected Christensen delivers them to St. Michael’s and leaves it in their hands. He said the sock supply is enough to be stretched over a few cold winter months.

Dropping off socks at St. Michael’s Mission.

Montreal Sock It To Me/ Facebook

Each year Christensen sets a goal of 1,000 pairs of socks. With almost one week left in the sock drive, Christensen hopes they can surpass their total donations.

“I hope it grows more and becomes a network of donations,” Christensen said.

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