Tammy Chard, left, and Carrie Chard are asking for sock donations to supply less fortunate locals with warm, dry feet. This simple item goes a long way, offering comfort to people who need it most. NICOLE FIELD PHOTO

The Joy of Sox: giving the gift of comfort for those in need

Quesnel couple sets up donation boxes for socks to help homeless people

With Christmas just around the corner, there’s a shared sense of giving when efforts are made to provide for people in need.

For Tammy and Carrie Chard, their Joy of Sox boxes are giving basic comfort to Quesnel’s needy population.

“Socks are one of the lowest donated items to people in need,” Carrie says.

“Things that we take for granted, other people wish they had. How often do we pick up a pair of socks and wear them twice?”

Carrie came up with the idea while researching facts on homelessness. She and Tammy felt it was important to educate themselves on the multi-layered issue to understand there is more involved than substance abuse and addiction.

Tammy’s new position as a support care worker at Seasons House homeless shelter calls for an informed understanding of the needy population – who they are and where they come from.

There was a time in Tammy’s life when she had to depend on a shelter. As a youth, Tammy says she experienced domestic abuse with an alcoholic father and a drug-addicted mother. She and her mother sought refuge.

“I remember how hungry and alone I felt. Working in the shelter [I see] many of those people are survivors of horrific abuse.

“If I can show them we care, and treat them like humans, maybe that will lessen their hurt and suffering.”

The small gift of a pair of clean, dry socks is something Tammy understands to be comfort on a large scale.

In addition, Thomas, Tammy and Carrie’s 21-year-old son, has high-functioning autism. Although blessed with the comfort and love of a strong family unit, he fits into the demographic of individuals who are at a shockingly high risk of homelessness.

Because the stigma associated with special needs often limits the chances of employment, the larger population of homeless individuals fall into this category.

With the weather getting colder, Tammy has had a lot of people asking for clean, dry socks. This is the one item that is sorely lacking, she says.

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“We have a lot of clothes donated, but I don’t think people really think about socks.”

It’s not just the holidays or winter months when such a simple piece of apparel is needed, she says, adding the demand extends throughout the year.

The Chards are aiming to collect at least 500 pairs of adult socks, new or used, by the end of the year.

The boxes are located at Pur Zen Reflexology, Marks Work Wearhouse, G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital, Pro Vita Rehabilitation, Willis Harper clothing department and FBB Accountants. The Pur Zen Jeep is also picking up sock donations if needed.

For more information, contact Carrie at 250-991-9332 or Tammy at 1-604-316-7768.

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