This is the story about two 10-year-old girls who really wanted to make a difference. Our names are Carly Goldhar and Charley Rangel and we are young girls with big hearts. People say we look alike and we often finish each other’s sentences. We both love dance and enjoy playing sports. We have been friends since we were two years old and have had our own sense of style: wearing single mismatched socks as a pair.
On many different occasions, we both attended sporting events and concerts and experienced walking around in downtown Toronto. During these times, we passed a lot of homeless people in the streets. This was not something that we’d see daily, as living in the suburbs is a difference experience than living downtown. We would give whatever we had in hand to these people and tried to help in which ever way we could.
Seeing people in need, brought out many different questions and always made us sad. Why are they on the streets? How do they stay Warm? Who helps them? These were questions that we would ask out parents over and over again. We both were determined to help so we began brainstorming and researching what we could do. We found out that socks are the second most needed item in homeless shelters.
Knowing this, we thought about our odd sock style and how most families deal with the problem of the mysterious dryer monster that eats up one sock. We wondered what everyone does with his or her single socks. We came up with the awesome idea of collecting useless single socks, and making a much-needed pair and donating the pairs to the homeless. Because of our Odd-Sock style, we called it Carly and Charley’s “Odd-Sox Project.” We began our mission and set a goal of collecting 5000 pairs of socks.
We decided to approach a local Starbucks. After explaining our cause, we were welcomed and were able to hold our first sock drive on November 15, 2015. Lori (Carly’s mom) and Rachel (Charley’s mom) started asking local business for donations. Staples generously donated the signs and Crew Solutions Corp. donated Odd-Sox Swag. Our moms began reaching out to many local stores at the corporate level to ask for donations. Not knowing what to expect, we received very generous donations of new socks to start off our drive.
To our surprise, that day we collected over 2000 socks. It was such an amazing day as we were amazed and so thrilled to see how many of our friends came out to support us and donate socks. This day showed us that we were not in this mission alone. Our friends, family and community all believed in our cause and were going to help support us and join in. The feeling that we were left with on this day was so satisfying and we knew we wanted to make this something larger. Creating a website was important so we approached Suntours and they donated their time to do this and called it Odd-Sox.org. We knew that we wanted let as many people know about their mission so that they would be able to help out.
Our second sock drive was at an Ivivva store. Ivivva was so enthusiastic about coming on board with us. We had our first photo shoot and Ivivva displayed the photos on their social media asking customers and followers to donate socks. We held our second sock drive in this store and spoke to 25 young girls about our cause. This was a great experience and we received an overwhelming amount of socks that day. Donations that came from people that travelled far distances just to support us and drop off socks. After this sock drive, we celebrated because we reached our 5000 donated socks goal.
However, we were not going to stop here, we changed our goal to 10,000 socks!
Odd-Sox Project has grown and become something so much larger than anticipated. Our little idea has expanded into something amazing. The support from the city councillor and the Mayor of Vaughan, the trustee and teachers has all been amazing and supportive in so many ways.
Our little thought of kindness is growing and growing. Upon our first stop for donating, we were welcomed and thanked for our generosity. We were interviewed by the media reminded of how wonderful our cause was. Seeing and hearing where the socks will go and how they will help, was an emotional thing. From this point on, we knew what we were doing was important, but hearing first hand had a tremendous impact on us. We knew that not only are they warming a lot of feet, but we will be warming many hearts too!
This journey is one that does not have an end. With many more stores and corporations on board wanting to support Odd-Sox Project, we know the importance of making a difference and are eager and enthusiastic for all of our peers to get involved. We began to speak with our peers and now have Odd-Sox ambassadors program at numerous schools where students are collecting at their school on behalf of Odd-Sox Project. We know that getting others involved is the most important part. If every student donated only one pair of socks, they would be warming thousands of feet.
Recently, we have just celebrating again because after only 7 weeks, we have reached our 2nd goal of collecting 10,000 sock donations! We went together with our moms to 4 different shelters and personally donated close to 6000 socks. We both feel like we have truly made a difference and we are going to keep going.
We are only 10 years old and already have learned the importance of giving back to the community and helping others. We are two active, motivated 10 year olds who are working hard to help a cause that is very important to us. We are warming feet, one sock at a time! And warm feet equal warm hearts!