ELIZABETHTOWN — A total of 37,640 toes between North Carolina and Georgia will soon be covered with new, comfortable socks after the month-long “Sock It To ‘Em” sock collection by the Bladen Journal resulted in 1,882 pairs of socks being donated.
The effort originated with Anna Grace Allen, 14, who is the reigning Miss Bladenboro Outstanding Teen. She thought of the idea while volunteering with an area homeless shelter and food pantry, where she learned that socks were something most homeless didn’t have.
So Allen thought up the “Sock It To ‘Em” effort as part of her platform for the Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen Pageant in June, and the Bladen Journal took up the challenge of collecting socks throughout the month of April.
“Honestly, I just knew we would do really well,” Allen said. “With all the publicity from the Bladen Journal and prayers that we would do well, it was bound to work. And I have even more socks that have been donated, so we will probably top the 2,000 mark.”
Allen added that, because of the success of the “Sock It To ‘Em” effort, she plans to distribute the socks in four different directions — she will take some to the Salvation Army in Fayetteville to be distributed to area homeless; she plans to distribute some through her church, Fayetteville Community Church; some will be used by the Galeed Baptist Church in Bladenboro for its next mission trip to Savannah, Ga.; and many of the socks will be distributed throughout Bladen County.
“I wanted to keep as many socks in Bladen County as we can,” Allen said. “And I’m sure they will show up in many areas.”
The effort caught the attention of a local company that wished to remain anonymous, and that company donated a total of 500 pairs of socks to the cause.
But right behind was the congregation at Greater Vision Free Will Baptist Church in Bladenboro, which donated 373 pairs of socks on April 28 — bringing the total to 1,488 pairs. Moments later, members of the Colly Extension and Community Association brought in 63 pairs of socks to push the tally past the 1,500 mark.
Also in the final week, Sadie Perry delivered 120 pairs of socks collected from Lisbon Baptist Church.
“I’m really very happy with the results,” Allen said. “The kindness in people’s hearts is so awesome, so in a way this outcome didn’t surprise me.”
The distribution of the socks is expected to begin next week.
Anyone wanting to assist with Allen’s expenses for the Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen Pageant in June can become a sponsor by calling 910-977-1760.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.