MARQUETTE, Mich., (WJMN) – Bombas is a comfort-focused clothing brand that donates one pair of socks for every pair they sell. United Way in Marquette received 2,000 pairs of socks from the company to distribute to those in need.
Andrew Rickaur, executive director of United Way of Marquette, says it can sometimes take two years to become a partner with Bombas and he applied last winter. United Way works with several other agencies that will help them distribute the socks. Rickner says he thinks this helped strengthen their application to become a Bombas partner.
“United Way works with 25 different agencies,” said Rickaur. “By giving to United Way we are able to distribute it to the entire county.”
Rickner started by reaching out to organizations he thought might be most critically needing socks. Some of the organizations are not agencies that United Way typically works with, but still have people who could use the socks. According to Rickner socks are one of the most requested items by shelters and people in need.
“Socks are, when surveyed, for homeless and those in greater need, socks are typically the most requested item and it’s one item that isn’t usually donated,” said Rickaur.
One of the organizations that have received a donation of socks is Teaching Family Homes. The organization has residential group homes on its campus for children who have been displaced from their own homes. Dave Mastric, Director of Facilities says that sometimes children come into their care with only the socks they are wearing.
“The condition that the kids come in from wherever they’ve been previously sometimes they’re coming with nothing but the clothes on their back,” said Mastric. “That means frequently they show up with one pair of ratty socks.”
Socks are really important and foot comfort can improve someone’s attitude according to Mastric. He says that a fresh pair of socks makes a difference in the life of someone who needs them.
“You can’t imagine how important that is to somebodies well-being, until you’ve tried to survive with a single pair of socks,” said Mastric.
Socks were also donated to the Great Lakes Recovery Center. They will be given to people in their residential centers in Marquette and Negaunee. Foundation Coordinator, Amy Poirier, says that they are thankful to United Way and to Bombas for the donation.
“I think it’s important for people to access to dry, clean socks because everybody should have socks and clothing and shelter,” said Poirier. “Especially I think where we live, in the winter it’s very cold here and socks help to keep not just your feet warm but your whole body warm.”
People in need can also call or email United Way of Marquette County or get in contact with one of the nine other organizations that already have pairs of socks to pick up a pair. The other organizations that have socks to distribute are:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marquette and Alger County
- Great Lakes Recovery Centers
- Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes
- Lake Superior Youth Village
- Negaunee Senior Center
- Superior Housing Solutions
- Teaching Family Homes
- YMCA of Marquette County
- Lutheran Social Service