Students Collect 1,000 Pairs of Socks for Homeless

SCRANTON -- A holiday clothing drive organized by third graders in Scranton exceeded expectations. Back in December, they started collecting socks for homeless veterans. The 1,000 pairs of socks collected fill a big need.

Third graders at Prescott Elementary in Scranton were asked to walk in the shoes of homeless veterans and they took that task literally by collecting socks.

"I was really looking forward to that because she told us that people out there didn't have a lot of things like we do and I was looking forward to make those for them," said third grader Emma Mendola.

Three classroom tables displayed two months of hard work. With the help of local businesses, the students collected more than 1,000 pairs of socks.

The recipient of the socks, Msgr. Joseph Kelly at the St. Francis Commons homeless veterans shelter was pretty proud, too.

"When I walked in and saw all these socks all over, I couldn't believe it!"

The students at Prescott Elementary made fleece blankets for homeless veterans back in November. That donation, of course, was well received. Officials at St. Francis Commons said there was something else they really needed.

"He said, 'Believe it or not, socks.' All of these homeless veterans need socks," said Kathleen Cadden. "Something we put on our feet every day, you have a whole drawer full. So, Mr. O'Donnell sparked the idea -- let's have a sock drive."

"We go through at least a thousand pairs of socks every year, so this is enough socks really for the year," said Msgr. Kelly. "I mean, it's wonderful because we also distribute them through St. Francis Kitchen and also through the homeless shelters."

Along with the socks, the third graders also collected a life lesson.

"It's important to help veterans because they helped us, and now we need to help them with their lives when they helped us with our lives," said third grader Reina Redwine.

Prescott Elementary is already planning another sock drive for next year.