The trees are budding and the snow is melting here in Denver, and I’m really hoping that the warmer temperatures are here to stay. Has anyone began cleaning out their closets yet? I know I have a few things I need to bag up. You know who’s closet is cleaned out? Sox Places. I noticed that we are in bad shape when it comes to some essentials for our kids down here who probably feel the elements a little deeper than the rest of us. So for you, I made a special list, a list of things that we ALWAYS love getting, in no particular order.
This might be a “thank you captain obvious” moment for most of you since our name is Sox Place, but I wanted to remind all you that we really do love socks a lot. Some of you may or may not know that when Doyle embarked on his mission to help the street kids of Denver years ago, he researched that socks are one of the highest under donated items to the homeless and so he began delivering socks. Thus how our place got its name.
These go appreciated in all shapes, sizes, and textures. Yoga pants, sweats, dress pants, denim, you name it our kids wear it and in multiple layers! I’ve had several people looking for nicer pants because they had an upcoming interview that they wanted to look good for. I’ve also had many other people looking for water proof sweats or good sturdy denim. All shapes and sizes are appreciated but Men’s jeans tend to be the most highly sought after item, and one we don’t see much of.
I know that it’s spring break for everyone else but for us stuck in Denver it’s cold! It’s legit snowing as a write this post. Even when it’s warm here our kids still sleep outside and need those layers of jackets and coats, so really this is an item that everyone appreciates.
We are lucky enough to have a “hygiene closet” where we have lots of items for the kids like floss, tooth paste, hair brushes, tampons, baby wipes…etc. Separate from the clothing closet which is made up mostly of used items, we like to pass out new items and this is where we like to provide clean, fresh underwear and undergarments for all men and women and kids.
We have a lovely gentleman that brings by expired cakes, cookies, and doughnuts from grocery stores once a week, and has been doing this for a long time. He is such a blessing and just the coolest guy. When we hand out food, dessert is always the fastest item leaving the shelves. It takes some conserving and planning to make sure our sweets last us all week long but a little help goes a long way. So if you’re thinking of donating but not sure where to start, cookies is a great place to start.
- Blankets & Sleeping Bags
I had to explain to a five-year-old this year why people sleep outside and what it means to be homeless. The best thing I could come up with during this hard conversation was comparing it to the time he went camping and slept outside in a sleeping bag. It’s like that, but in a city, and everyday. Shelter is scarce and anything to protect them from the elements help.
- Baby Clothes
The amount of small children that come through fluctuate throughout the year, and with summer a few months away we are expecting to see more and more come through. Also many times throughout the year we have young ladies that are expecting new ones and it’s a great thing to be able to give them some peace of mind about them being able to clothe their upcoming little ones.
- Shoes & Shoe Laces
We loves shoes for our kids and right now we are desperately running low on shoes for all our attendees. Tennis shoes, skate shoes, professional shoes, boots and slippers are all highly sought after items that fly off the shelf. You know that pair of Vans that you haven’t worn for the past couple of months? Our kids will wear those until the soles fall
out. Or those tennis shoes your fifteen year old grew out of? We totally would love those too. What if they don’t have shoe laces anymore? We won’t ask questions but we would be really grateful if you brought a pack of those with you!
Talk about something that we rarely see come through. Our kids down here aren’t that picky when it comes to pants. A size too small or too large is always doable especially if we have a belt to give with it. They don’t have to be in perfect shape, maybe one of the notches wore out and broke through, that’s okay! We only get belts maybe once every couple of months and they go fast.
- Meat & Proteins
While you’re cleaning out your closet don’t forget to clean that fridge! (: We try and make sure that our kids are getting fed until they’re full and are eating balanced meals while they’re here. Usually we try to incorporate meat or some sort of proteins for the kids that come by to see us. Ground hamburger, taco meat, chicken and hot dogs are a few of the things we love to see stocked in our freezers.
That about sums up our spring cleaning list. We love you guys and all the support you have continued to give Sox Place over the years. We survive on our faith and the hearts of the people that are making donations to our ministry. Without that we would have shut down a long time ago. Continue to pray for us as we wage war on the wicked problems homelessness by continuously showing these kids love and grace, something they don’t get many other places.