New socks for the walk to a better life
Third annual Legacy Health Sock Drive collects almost 30,000 new pairs of socks for underserved neighbors
Every weekday at 8:30 a.m., a discreet space on the corner of northwest 18th Avenue and Irving Street comes alive as Rose Haven, a women’s day shelter in Portland, dedicated to providing women and children basic yet vital self-care necessities. Rose Haven offers hygiene kits and a warm shower; medical advice and first aid; locally-sourced healthy food; and access to a personalized shopping experience in their impeccably run clothing and jewelry shop.
“So many roads, so many miles,” reflects Cynthia, a regular Rose Haven guest who is receiving a foot soak and first aid for her wounded feet from a student nurse. “As you can see, I love to walk, I have seen every waterfall in the Gorge.”
A recent National Institute of Health study found two thirds of homeless populations have reported foot health concerns like Cynthia’s.
"The condition of one’s feet impacts their overall health,” said James Borden, M.D., FACP., site director and internal medicine physician at Legacy Medical Group-Good Samaritan, who cares for patients experiencing homelessness. “Foot complications can cause infection and can also be signals of larger health concerns such as diabetes and vascular disease.”
Recognizing this growing public health concern, Legacy Health held its third annual Sock Drive from November 20 - December 8, 2017 collecting and delivering 28,420 brand new pairs of socks to the communities it serves.
“We are incredibly grateful for the socks we have received from Legacy,” said Katie O’Brien, Rose Haven’s community outreach & development consultant. “As simple as a pair socks may seem, we have seen them transform our guests’ health and lives by freeing them up to focus on the more complex issues such as finding stable housing.”
Legacy distributed brand new pairs of men’s, women’s and children’s sock to 25 community partners this year who, like Rose Haven, provide basic yet vital necessities to underserved populations. Click here for a full list of 2017 recipients.
“Socks not only provide an immediate measure of warmth, they provide hope for those who need them. To those who are experiencing homelessness, this simple gesture can make a significant difference,” says Sonja Steves, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, Legacy Health.
Since 2015, Legacy Health has collected and distributed 96,279 brand new socks into the communities it serves in the cold winter months.
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