Rock the Socks a worthy effort to support

In light of the ongoing frigid weather, the timing couldn’t be better for the Rock the Socks event set for Thursday.

The brainchild of Marquette Alternative High School students, Rock the Socks involves the collection of warm winter socks to help raise awareness of the challenge area homeless people face in winter.

A sock drive was decided upon because the students discovered there are collections for a variety of items vital to needy residents of the region – including for food, hats, mittens and coats – but nothing that centers on socks, alternative high school English teacher Cindy DePetro said.

In an effort to expand the success of the collection, which has a goal of 200 pairs of socks, the students decided to see if any other high schools in the area would like to join in, and did they ever. All the schools contacted – including Marquette Senior High School, Westwood High School, Gwinn High School, North Star Academy, Sandy Knoll Elementary School, Superior Hills Elementary School, Negaunee High School and Ishpeming High School – jumped right into the effort with both feet.

Collection boxes will be placed in all the aforementioned schools near the administrative offices, as well as at Hot Plate in downtown Marquette, all day Thursday for students and members of the public to donate a new pair of winter socks.

The alternative high school students welcomed the participation of other high schools, not only to boost the collection total by making it more convenient for people to drop off socks but also to show they have common goals with students at mainstream high schools.

In fact, DePetro said the sock collection is just one of many community minded efforts her students have undertaken, including a well-attended march against bullying that drew area community leaders and students.

Once all the socks are gathered together, youth sizes will be donated to elementary schools for distribution to kids in need and the adult sizes will be donated to St. Vincent DePaul and residents of the Janzen House.

So while you are keeping your feet, toes and the rest of you warm during this mid-winter freeze, perhaps picking up a few pairs of new socks to donate to Rock the Socks will help those in need stay warm, as well.