26,250 pairs and still giving…
Imagine a group of people assisting low-income community members with warm clothing. With the help of family and friends, that’s exactly what we’re doing. We raise money to buy warm socks for children, teens, and adults.
Our Mission: To create a caring community where people meet, encourage, and help people who find themselves with limited resources. We warm hearts by warming toes.
It was something the kids could help with, something we could pursue in our own time, and it had the emotional connection we were searching for: everyone appreciates a gift of warm socks, especially in the Manitoba winters, and it allowed us to connect with more people in our community. It’s grown from there, with friends in Toronto, Barrie, and Mississauga helping out their communities in the same manner with the same intention: warming hearts by warming toes.
How it started
As new parents, we had searched for charitable work to do with our children. We wanted to be the example and get out there and help and show our kids the importance of community involvement but couldn’t decide on a plan that fit our now very busy lives. We felt we wanted something local, that would have a measurable impact. Large scale? That wasn’t us. We had investigated many organizations but they came up great on ideas but fell short on tangible results. Or simply impractical to participate in with our family of different ages. Many great charities don’t have a place for a five-year-old to help out.
Our daughter was the one who initially hit on the core idea of WarmToes. After reading a book from the library, Lily and the Paper Man by Rebecca Upjohn, she quietly decided to get socks for people who didn’t have any. Later, while we were Christmas shopping for her Mom, she convinced me to buy a few packs of socks to give to Mom, to give away to people on the street.
That small act of kindness propelled us to do more.
So we launched WarmToes for Winnipeg in March of 2011. It was something the kids could help with, something we could pursue in our limited schedules, and it had the emotional connection we were searching for: everyone appreciates a gift of warm socks, especially in Manitoba. From the beginning, we pledged that all money raised goes to purchasing socks for the those in need, such as refugee immigrant families, homeless, and families struggling to make ends meet. Simple and doable for us all.
“Not long after “Lily and the Paper Man” came out I met Cathy Crowe, a street nurse in Toronto, who told me for young children, collecting and donating warm (especially wool which keep feet warm even when wet) socks was a useful and real way to help. The first step is raising awareness, and that is a good way to start.” Rebecca Upjohn
Our hope is that it’ll make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.
Your stories are needed!
And it’s not just about socks! We talk to everyone we give a pair of socks too. We don’t walk by anymore. Sometimes a smile and a quick conversation bring more smiles than any gift. So now it’s your turn, don’t pass by that person on the street, let them know Winnipeg cares, and then let us know the impact you’ve made in someone’s life.