The sock ladies were out in full force tonight in the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It was a grey, wet, gloomy and comfy sweat pant kind of day. A perfect day to help warm up a whole bunch of toes walking around in soaking wet shoes. You should have SEEN all of the happy faces we helped make tonight! Laura, Clorinda and I handed out 182 pairs of socks. One hundred and EIGHTY TWO!!!! Thank you to everyone who donated! – Ernestine, Dad & Rebecca, and the Ellis’s!! THANK YOU!!
Laura had never handed out socks with us before, and she admitted that she was a little apprehensive – a little unsure of how people might react to hearing, “would you like some socks?”. I know that most people are unsure at first, myself included. I’ve been denied before trying to offer food, and it isn’t a very good feeling. It’s pretty frustrating actually. So I get it. You don’t want to feel that when you’re trying to do a good deed. I can understand why someone would be unsure about asking if socks are needed – you don’t want to make them feel bad and you’re not sure how they will react.
I can tell you that within 2 minutes, the unsureness faded far away for Laura. We were handing them out left, right and center. People were running up to us. Some of the biggest smiles I’ve seen. SOCKS!! You have socks??! Over here!! Do you have white socks? (not sure why white is such a hot commodity, but it was). Can I have some for my wife? THANK YOU! You are such a blessing! – this is what we helped bring tonight to so many people. Much more than warm feet. Smiles, acceptance, conversations, and overall happiness. Perhaps even some hope. Perhaps another day of a little bit less of a struggle. Perhaps.
I was really tired after work, excited to hand out socks, but was tired. Funnily enough, I now feel completely energized. It’s funny how much we gain from giving. We helped bring smiles to so many people, and our grins were shining from the inside out. It felt really, really good. To make a difference. Yeah, it’s on a small scale, but change has to start somewhere. I’ve kept a few pairs in my glove compartment to hand out to the next person who asks for money when I’m driving around. You’d be surprised how grateful so many people are for the simplest things – warm and dry clothing. So simple.
If you don’t want to give money or even food to someone who looks like they are in need, try handing out some socks. Even other simple things such as toiletries, gloves, t-shirts you might be giving away – you’d be surprised how grateful someone is for such a small gesture. If ever you’re having a sad or rough day, I truly recommend giving to someone who needs more than you. It will help YOU feel good, as well as help to put your life into persepctive. Maybe our problems aren’t really all that bad. :)
Smile with your heart!