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IUSB students, church, and non-profit work to collect socks for the homeless

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – What started as a class project, has blossomed into a successful collection to help the city’s homeless population stay warm as the weather gets colder.

Racquel Harris, the pastor of True Life Ministries, has been working with students in a speech class at IU South Bend and the South Bend Center for the Homeless to collect socks and undergarments for those who may not have any.

When deciding what to do for the project, Harris said the deciding factor was simple. “We wanted to be a part of helping people’s lives,” she said. “It’s very humbling to know that something as small as a pair of socks can keep somebody warm, and that’s what we want to do. We want to be able to give back and help people rebuild their lives.”

So far over 500 pair of socks have been collected, inching closer to their goal of 1,000.

The group members made collection boxes and placed them all over IU South Bend's campus and in the community near stores such as Walmart and Meijer. 

Churches have also joined in, with boxes at Christ The King Catholic Church, St. Anthony Catholic Church, and the church Harris pastors, True Life Ministries at Bethel College on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The students visited the Center for the Homeless before the donation drive. It was during that visit they learned the center struggles for donations during this time of year. 

“I never thought that there would be a time where the donations would be kind of stagnant," said Parker Adkins, a student in the group. "To hear that socks and underwear was kind of overlooked too definitely made sense. You’re always thinking that people need something bigger or greater and really it just comes down to simple socks and underwear.”

The drive will continue through the middle of November. Adkins hopes the donation will help the people at the center have a better holiday season. 

"Some of these people don't get the opportunity to ask for big items for Christmas," he said. "They have to ask for socks and underwear. I think we should help them by giving that to them so they can ask for something they may need."

If you would like to donate, look out for one of the collection boxes or visit the GoFundMe page here.


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