UWT is collaborating with Registered Student Organizations (RSO) for the first time to collect and donate socks for charity. Last year, former veteran navigator, Jessie Schweizer and the President of Student Veteran Organization, Paul Hansen created and organized the project through veteran services.
“I just cleared it with the site supervisor (Registrar, Andrea Coker-Anderson), Erin Mulka decorated a box and we put the word out. Donations flooded in,” said Schweizer.
The veteran’s office collected approximately 450 socks and donated them to Seattle Stand Down.
“The majority were boot socks, rather than the cheapest white socks that could be found. Pretty awesome! We donated them to the Seattle Stand- Down, which exists once per year expressly to serve a primary audience of homeless veterans. Customers access community resources and free gear to restock,” said Schweizer.
Schweizer said that socks were the chosen garment for the drive because they are often “missed items to be donated” to homeless veterans. Clean and dry socks play a vital role in the functionality of a soldier.
“Clean and dry socks are pressed heavily in military culture and training because no soldier is marching if their feet aren’t healthy. If you take that to the homeless side of things, damp or wet feet are a surefire way to unhealthy feet,” said Schweizer.
Veteran navigator, Erin Mulka, wanted to continue the project, but also make changes to the drive.
“I see a benefit from collaboration,” said Mulka.
Mulka is leading the 2015 Sock Drive this year and had decided it was best to collaborate instead of operating solely through the Veterans office.
“I sent out a massive email to all RSO’s asking if they would like to participate. The RSO’s in return will respond and then send a logo to be placed on the flyers for the Sock Drive,” said Mulka.
Currently there are only five groups participating: UW Pre-Health Society, UWT Psychology Club, Accounting Student Association, Huskies and Pups Organization and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.
“I feel honored to be invited. I feel like this will give us a chance to reach out to other students and try to get students with children involved and represent the college,” said Huskies and Pups President, Christopher Johnston.
After gathering socks from all RSO that are taking part in the drive, Mulka will create a flyer and send an email to each organization requesting they disperse about 10 flyers each.
“I will let them distribute it however they want to distribute it. I figure if we get 10 organization distributing 10 flyers, that’s 100 flyers right there. That’s the goal,” said Mulka.
The set goal for the Sock Drive is 1,500 socks, with 500 being donated to every group including: Seattle Stand- Down (a shelter for homeless veterans), a local woman’s shelter, the homeless and those in need.