BY ASHA SWANN
For nearly a decade, Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum has hosted an annual sock drive. During November, the public is welcome to bring a new pair of socks. Hundreds of pairs are collected each year.
“We used to kick it off on World Kindness Day, which is Nov. 15,” says Nicole Cahill, marketing and new media manager at the museum, who runs the sock drive. “And then it got really popular so we decided, why not extend it to the whole month of November?”
On Dec. 1, all socks are donated to The Scott Mission, just a 15-minute walk from the museum.
“It’s very local to our community,” said Cahill. “They distribute the socks to those who need them throughout the year.”
Cahill said that the goal of the drive is to raise awareness as much as possible and increase the number of socks donated each year.
“Every year we want to increase the amount of socks that we collect so that we can help The Scott Mission go longer and longer throughout the year,” she said.
The idea to have a sock drive just made sense to Cahill.
“It’s a perfect fit, we’re a shoe museum,” she said. “In an ideal world we could collect shoes…but the thing about socks is they don’t take up too much space and they can be new, which is really important.”
The museum has also received donations from various groups, such as churches and schools.
“UTS (University of Toronto Schools), which is a school just down the road here, has done a partnership drive at their school,” said Cahill. “We often get church groups who bring in socks they’ve collected from their provisioner.”
Free admission to the museum during Saturday or Sunday is given to anyone who makes a donation that day. There are also sock-themed craft activities available for for free to kids during the drive.
Other charitable events done at the museum include Step Ahead, an after school educational program for at risk youth, and Pay What You Can Thursdays, where admission is by donation.
Nov. 30 is the last day to donate a pair of socks for the drive.