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Socktoberfest! Helper Bees look to collect 5,000 pairs of socks

In this Following Up article we touch base with The Helper Bees and its annual campaign to keep toes toasty
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Volunteers at Your Downtown Friends Guelph distributing socks collected during Socktober.

The Helper Bees is encouraging the community to step up and help collect socks for vulnerable residents.

Recently, the Helper Bees kicked off Socktober, returning with its annual campaign collecting new and gently used socks. All collected socks will be donated to Your Downtown Guelph Friends, which will distribute them on Fridays and Sundays during the winter.

John Dennis, Helper Bees coordinator, said socks are a highly requested item and the outcome of the event is to give people a good pair of socks.

"I feel when you put out good things to the community, you get good things back," said Dennis.

Last year, Helper Bees collected over 4,000 pairs of socks, and are hoping to build on previous momentum by collecting over 5,000 pairs. Dennis adds they accept socks of all kinds during Socktober, including children's socks.

"Five thousand will really cover us and allow us to go through the winter," said Dennis.

To help keep all the socks in one place, St. Andrew's Presbyterian church has agreed to help provide storage. Donation boxes for Socktober can be found at St. Andrew's at 161 Norfolk St., The Church of the Apostles at 86 Glasgow St. and The Guelph Tool Library.

"It seemed like a good fit to help out these folks who are doing amazing things," said Rev. John Borthwick of St. Andrew's.

The Helper Bees are encouraging other groups to join in Socktober. Since the event was announced, Kortright Presbyterian Church and River of Life International Fellowship Church have also joined the campaign. Sparks Unit Number 23 also donated paper sock decorations and are running a sock drive.

When it comes to socks, Dennis said many Canadians can relate to the feeling of having cold feet.

"It's as Canadiana as Tim Hortons or hockey," said Dennis. 

Residents can also make a financial donation which will help the Helper Bees buy socks. Those who have socks but can't get to a donation bin, can also arrange to have a volunteer pick up socks by emailing helperbees@apostlesguelph.org.