Observer staff report
The Williston Observer is partnering with Socks for Seniors to help bring holiday cheer and winter warmth to local seniors.
Socks for Seniors is a non-profit community service project that organizes, collects and distributes new socks for seniors in communities all over the country.
Marianne Apfelbaum, Williston Observer co-owner, also publishes Vermont Maturity magazine.
“We’ve worked with the senior population for more than 20 years, and we try to support seniors in any way we can,” she said. “We thought this was a fantastic idea and we’re thrilled to help.”
The holidays can be a depressing time of year for lonely and financially challenged seniors who get lost in the shuffle, according to Jamie Coyne, Socks for Seniors founder.
Some seniors are widows or widowers, others are away from family.
Coyne said he started Socks for Seniors 15 years ago in Ohio, after visiting a senior community and talking to a woman who told him and his wife that her feet were freezing.
“Her socks were in bad shape. They were worn out and had holes in them. The solution seemed simple and my wife then left only to return a few minutes later with a brand new pair of socks,” Coyne wrote in a press release. “Not only did it serve its purpose but it made the lady’s day.”
The program grew over the years, spreading across the country. This is the first Socks for Seniors initiative in Vermont.
New socks can be brought to the Williston Observer offices, located at 330 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 330. Socks will also be collected at Williston Federated Church.
The Observer’s goal is to collect 175 pairs of soft, warm socks, which will be donated to long-term residents of two nursing homes, Burlington Health and Rehab and Starr Farm Nursing Center. If more socks are donated, the Observer will add Green Mountain Nursing Home to the list of recipients.