Almost 50,000 pairs of socks available for local organizations, nonprofits in need

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Volunteers helped organize 50,000 pairs of socks that are now available for donation across the community.One community member's concern for the victims of wildfires racing across the state led her to take possession of 50,000 pairs of socks — and now she needs help from local organizations to get them in the hands of those who need them.

Gresham businesswoman Sue Piazza reached out to the Oregon Blind Veterans Association to get a few packages of Bombas socks to give to fire victims and firefighters. But that organization's goal of passing out the socks, which had been collected last year, had been stymied by the pandemic and the age of their members. No socks had been donated since March.

So a deal was made. Piazza stepped in to help the Blind Veterans and is now coordinating the distribution of the socks to any local nonprofit organization in need.

"I don't know how easy it will be to get rid of 50,000 socks — but we will find out," Piazza said.

First, she had to find a place to store the socks. She was able to connect with Harsch Investment Properties, which owns Gresham Station, and they happily donated an empty storefront where she could coordinate her efforts.

On Friday, Sept. 25, she and 20 volunteers unloaded the boxes from a truck and got them organized in the former Lane Bryant store.

Now she is working to get the socks into the hands of those in need. She has already set up donations to the Gresham Salvation Army, My Father's House, SnowCap Community Charities, Birch Community Services, the city of Gresham Homeless Services Team and East Hill Church.

The goal is to donate locally first. Any organization in need of socks should call 503-770-0645. Available sizes range from XS to XL, and there are different patterns and colors. She also wants to use the space at Gresham Station, which she has access to through the end of the year, as a storage space for any local coat, shoe or non-perishable food drive.

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