During the cold and rainy winter months, especially, keeping your feet warm and dry when you’re experiencing homelessness and living on the streets is vital. That is why a good pair of socks is one of the greatest needs of our guests at Portland Rescue Mission. We can easily distribute over 400 pairs of socks a week when we have them to give, which is why we are so grateful that our friends at Famous Footwear decided to donate over 5,100 pairs of brand new socks.
“Famous Footwear is all about family, giving back to the community and helping others, “ said Julie Mulick, District Sales Manager for Famous Footwear. “Everyone here representing our company is volunteering their time because they wanted to be a part of helping people get back on their feet.”
The crew that visited the Burnside Shelter from Famous Footwear consisted mostly of store managers from the Portland area, and all came to the Mission to not simply donate socks, but to visit the facility and serve lunch to our Connect Ministry participants. For Scott Renta, Store Manager at Mall 205, the opportunity to tour the facility left a lasting impression on both him, and his son, who also accompanied him.
“This is a really safe place to stay the night, and it’s eye-opening to realize how many people stay here each night, and how big the need still is,” he said. “There’s no fluff here, and no wasted space. It’s clear you guys are doing the best you can do.”
And so are Famous Footwear’s customers.
“We’ve been doing this for three years now, and I’m always so surprised to see how generous and giving our customers are to this cause,” Scott said. “For me, and the store I manage, we’re collecting socks all year long and … it’s encouraging because, after dedicating a year to doing something like collecting socks, you feel like you were able to accomplish something meaningful at work and with the customers who shop at the store.”
With temperatures continuing to drop in Portland, and the streets becoming more and more dangerous, socks, underwear and blankets will continue to be some of our biggest needs at the Mission. You can contribute to that need, and help us continue to meet the growing demand by donating in-kind items at either our Burnside Shelter, or at Shepherd’s Door (our New Life Ministry facility for women and children). Thank you for joining the Mission in our efforts.