Fifth graders at Vallejo Catholic school hold 'Socktober' drive to warm the feet of Contra Costa County homeless

As the Mercury dips ever lower around in the Bay Area, the challenge of staying warm grows even more difficult for those who find themselves living on the streets.

Socks are the number one need of those in this situation, and their eyes light up when they receive a pair. 

“Socktober” was a means through which the 35 students in the fifth grade class at St. Catherine of Siena School in Vallejo were challenged with addressing this need by donating socks for the homeless population of Contra Costa County.

The class came through in a big way by bringing in 947 pairs of socks for men, women, and children.

In exchange for doing acts of kindness and service within their homes, around their neighborhoods, and in the community at large during the month of October, the children earned spare change and other monetary donations from family and friends. That money, in turn, was used to purchase the socks. So there was even a math component with this project: Where could the kids go to get the most bang for the buck when buying the socks? 

Student awareness of the issue of homeless was enriched by a Zoom visit with Dori Geer, the CORE Outreach Coordinator with the Contra Costa County Health Services, who spoke to the children about the team’s efforts to serve the homelessness and fielded their questions during the hour-long online session.  

This encounter was followed up with the students writing letters that expressed their appreciation to Geer for giving her time, and to share a reaction to what they had learned during the virtual visit.

Further information about the topic of homelessness was presented through assigned readings as part of the class’ Language Arts/Literature lessons during the month.

David Scholz is the fifth grade teacher at St. Catherine of Siena School in Vallejo.

In photo above, fifth graders Alejandra Bowie, left, and Ryan Brandon of St. Catherine of Siena School in Vallejo, tackle the job of counting the hundreds of socks brought in by students during it "Socktober" service project to benefit the homeless of Contra Costa County. When the tallies were added up, 947 pairs of socks for men, women and children had been turned in by the 35-member class. Photo by David Scholz