Winnipeg mission gets 4,000 socks after donation drive

Patrons of a Winnipeg mission are getting the gift of warm feet tonight, thanks to the generosity and hard work of two Manitobans.

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Last month, Megan Hemenway made a post on Facebook, soliciting sock donations from her friends and family for the Siloam Mission, which helps provide food, shelter and clothing for the city's poor and homeless community.

Initially, Hemenway set her goal at what she thought was a reasonable 1,000 pairs.

Little did she know that her message had reached a like-minded friend of a friend, who she had never met, but was inspired to join her cause.

"It just tugged on my heart right away when I read that, and I was like: 'Alright, I work in construction. I know what cold feet are like in winter.’ And I just knew I had to be a part of it," Andrew Vanden Berg, who lives about 128 kilometres away in Winkler, Man., told CTV Winnipeg.

After that, the pair got to work.

Hemenway picked up bags of socks from across Winnipeg, and Vanden Berg put out what he called the "socks box" out in front of his home.

"People would drive up and drop their socks in the box, and I would wave at them out the window as they left," said Vanden Berg.

Before they knew it, hundreds of socks were being dropped off on Vanden Berg's doorstep.

"When we thought it was over he had another 500 pairs, and when we thought that was over we had another 900 pairs," said Hemenway.

When the pair made the delivery on Wednesday, the final tally exceeded Hemenway's original goal by more than 3,000 pairs.

"This pile of socks behind me is crazy, we never expected it," she said before the drop-off.

On the snowiest day @Humsy3 (Megan) dropped off her 4000+ socks she collected for a month! There r no words Megan!! pic.twitter.com/jEKmeQBwbe

— Siloam Mission (@SiloamMission) December 16, 2015

The mound of socks was a welcome sight at the Siloam Mission, which hands out about 200 pairs of sock every day.

"Their feet hurt, they're sore, they're stinky, they're smelly, so to change their socks without worrying about it is huge," said Laura Everett, the organization’s clothing co-ordinator.

And for Hemenway and Vanden Berg it's mission accomplished.

"It is so nice to see that there are so many good people that just want to help people," said Hemenway.

"It is such a basic need that people could really relate to what that meant to not have a pair of socks to keep your feet warm."

#HolySocks! How cold feet brought 2 strangers 2gether to 2 collect 4000 socks 4 @SiloamMission@ctvwinnipeg#ctvwpgpic.twitter.com/JV9NSm8o6V

— Michelle Gerwing (@MichelleGCTV) December 16, 2015

The pair plans to hold the sock drive again next year.

With a report from CTV Winnipeg



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