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Teaching Kids to Give Back: The Sock Project

Two weeks ago, our family was on our way to pick up a Christmas tree when my 4 year old spotted a homeless man with a sign on the street corner.  He asked me what he was doing and thus began an ongoing conversation we’ve been having this holiday season about those less fortunate than us.  It’s not always easy to know what to say, or do, to help young children understand.  Which is why, I’m so happy Kristin is here today sharing a lovely personal project her family has recently taken on.

Compassion wells up in our hearts and we have two choices.  Act or ignore.  Those of us that live in cities are constantly coming face to face with the homeless.  In the past, I’ve been so conflicted about what to do.  Wanting to help is a natural reaction, but the reality of living on the streets means that my money will most likely fund a drug or alcohol problem.


After asking around, I was told that socks and blankets are the things they need most.  It’s easy for them to find food.  But, warmth is harder to come by.  So, a Costco-pack of socks later, I was ready to share a little love.  The first time I didn’t know what to expect, but it was so touching to give a very simple gift and receive such a grateful response.


Over the past month, I always keep socks in my purse and I’ve handed them out in the most random of places.  It’s something that is so easy to do and is so meaningful to the people who need them.

We went out one night as a family and my kids were able to help hand out the socks.  I actually planned it as part of our activity Advent.  Afterwards we went out to dinner and talked about the night.  We were all moved and inspired to be part of the change.  We want to show the world love and act every time compassion wells up in our hearts.




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Kristin is a former teacher turned children’s photographer in southern California. Visit her website to read all about her adventures in photography, cooking, and her love of style.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon December 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm

That is very moving. Tears are coming to my eyes as I think of the wonderful lesson you’re children are learning. I hope to teach my child the same when he is old enough! What kind of reactions did you get from the homeless people?


HeatherAnne December 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

My children’s 4H Club put together “Blessing Bags” to keep in the cars to hand to homeless we see (in our Metro area, many homeless will stand at busy intersections panhandling). As part of that, I got the kids knitting hats on Knifty Knitter looms. They love making hats that will help people. They make so many we donate several to a homeless shelter every week or two. The looms are easy to carry with us and we use yarn we pick up from Freecycle.

I love this sock idea too. Easy to keep a pair on us wherever we go whereas the bags are big enough we just keep them in the cars.


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