As temperatures fall, people are trading their flip-flops and sandals for warm socks and boots.
So at Cutchogue East Elementary School, second-graders spent last month collecting socks to donate to the needy through local outreach programs Community Action Southold Town and Maureen’s Haven.
Renaming the month “Socktober,” students, their families and friends purchased more than 625 pairs to distribute. They also kept a collection box at JABS.
“I liked getting over our goal,” said Colin Reeve, a second-grader in Lisa Massoud’s class. The students’ goal was to collect 400 pairs.
Other students in Ms. Massoud’s class said they liked being able to help others, enjoyed making people happy and were excited to help the less fortunate stay warm.
“If you keep your feet warm, you keep your whole body warm,” said Andrew Tusa. “So for the people who just live on rags and stuff, they could get really cold. So if we give them fresh clean socks it will protect their feet.”
The inspiration for “Socktober” came from watching Kid President, a young boy who films videos for Facebook and YouTube and encourages his peers to help their communities and be nicer to one another.
Ms. Massoud’s class motto is “Kindness brings more kindness,” so her students enlisted the help of second-graders in other classrooms to reach their goal.
“It’s really good that we made up Socktober because if we didn’t make up Socktober people would become frozen,” student Gia Mondello said.
On Monday, the students gathered in the school’s library to give three overflowing boxes of socks to CAST’s executive director, Linda Ruland. She stood before the second-graders, thanking them for their generous donation.
Ms. Ruland explained that CAST’s motto is “Neighbors helping neighbors” and told students that by donating socks, they were doing just that.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a little neighbor or a big neighbor or a young neighbor or an old neighbor, you can always help your neighbor when they’re in need,” she said. “You chose to help people by giving them socks and I think that is an awesome thing.”
In 2015, Ms. Ruland added, CAST helped over 6,000 people in Southold Town by giving them food, clothes, oil and other necessities.
Ms. Massoud commended the students for working with family and friends to give back to those in need. They also kept their motto alive by trick-or-treating for UNICEF this Halloween.
The entire grade hopes to start a “kindness quilt” to hang in the second-grade hallway. Each time someone does something kind, they get to draw a picture on a square and attach it to the quilt. The first square to be hung will illustrate “Socktober,” Ms. Massoud said.
“You guys all worked really hard and shared with family and friends this month,” she told students. “I’m so impressed.”
Photo caption: Community Action Southold Town executive director Linda Ruland, left, thanks second graders at Cutchogue East Elementary School last week for donating over 625 pairs of socks during their Socktober campaign to her organization and Maureen’s Haven. (Credit: Nicole Smith)