‘Socktober’ Collections at Stafford, Southern Regional Schools Generate More Than 15,000 Pairs of Socks

By David Biggy | Nov 20, 2019
Photo by: Ryan Morrill Students at Stafford Intermediate School pose with a small fraction of the socks they collected during their month long fundraising event ‘Socktober.’

Stafford Township — For many, socks might be one of those things taken for granted. But for many organizations that help the homeless, veterans, families in need, abused women with children in shelters or the elderly, socks are a commodity and needed in abundance all year.

Thanks to the Stafford Township School District and Southern Regional Middle School, hundreds of individuals served by varying organizations will have warmer feet this winter. Students from both districts accumulated more than 15,000 new pairs of socks during their “Socktober” collection drives in October.

“We had an amazing response from everybody in our district,” said Stafford district teacher Stacey Goddard, who is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Long Beach Island and oversaw the district-wide effort alongside McKinley teacher Brooke Hildebrandt. “Unlike last year, when the Intermediate School just did it, we opened it up to all our schools in the district, and the students really got enthusiastic about collecting socks. It was crazy but very exciting.”

In the Stafford district – comprised of Stafford Intermediate, McKinley Avenue Elementary, Ocean Acres Elementary, Ronald L. Meinders Primary Learning Center and Oxycocus School – a whopping 10,035 pairs of socks were collected between Oct. 1 and Oct. 30. Intermediate students tallied 3,144, while McKinley mustered 3,033 and Ocean Acres came through with 2,216. PLC and Oxycocus, with significantly fewer students in those buildings, totaled 1,278 and 454 pairs, respectively.

Goddard, who now has more than 10,000 pairs of socks occupying a guest room in her home, soon will begin delivering them to as many as 10 organizations, including Family Promise of Southern Ocean County and Hearts of Mercy.

“Last year, with Intermediate, we donated about 750 pairs of socks,” Goddard said. “This was a huge jump from that, and this is going to help a lot of people. It’s all about getting involved and helping those less fortunate, and we’re very appreciative of all the participation.”

In each school, coordinators dealt with their individual operations to assist Goddard and Hildebrant – Amanda Boeta at Oxycocus, Natalie Ciliento at PLC and Shannon Burke at Ocean Acres.

The effort, of course, included a “friendly competition” to see which homeroom could generate the most pairs of socks. Each winning homeroom will be treated to a “pretzel party.” At Intermediate, Erika Leming’s homeroom tallied 1,136 as the district’s overall high-achieving class, while Hildebrandt’s, Boeta’s and Ciliento’s homerooms delivered the most in their schools, and Rebecca Harris’ class accumulated the most at Ocean Acres.

“In one class, we found a huge bag with 100 pairs of socks,” Goddard said. “The students in our district love doing fundraisers, but 10,000 is an incredible number.”

SRMS Has ‘Best Year Yet’

At Southern Regional Middle School, conducting its fourth annual “Socktober” drive, students collected 5,036 pairs of new socks, which will be donated to a handful of organizations, including Interfaith Hospitality Network, The United Way of Ocean County and Atlantic City Rescue Mission.

“This was our best year yet!” said teacher Gerilyn Heinz, the school’s coordinator for the project. “We run the drive as a team-wide competition throughout the school, and we had set up in each team’s classrooms, where the students were able to drop off their donations.”

Heinz said seven teams competed to accumulate the most pairs of socks, and the top three were the Sharks with 1,780, the Titans with 1,620 and the Seahawks with 880.

— David Biggy


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