Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 4, 2012

Russell High School seniors collect socks for Helping Hands

Tim Preston
The Independent

RUSSELL — Powered by the potential for a pizza party, Russell High School students weren’t playing around when it came time to help Helping Hands fill the need for socks.

“The seniors decided to collect socks based on the fact the Helping Hands organization seldom gets socks donated. To motivate the RHS student body the ROTC seniors offered to pay for a pizza party to the class that raised the most socks,” reported Lt. Col. Terry Maggard, USAF, Ret. “Mr. Jeremy Grizzle’s second period art class won by donating 116 pairs of socks!”

By the time the Russell High School AFJROTC seniors had concluded their sock drive last week, 440 pair of socks had been gathered for Greenup County Helping Hands

Helping Hands President Deborah Blevins accepted the socks and offered her praise for the students’ efforts.

“We have never had this kind of drive before,” she said, explaining most groups work to collect food or funds, although the sock drive was an outstanding effort which will benefit many families. “Socks are something that don’t get donated to us very often. This will keep a lot of feet warm and dry.” Blevins said the socks are now being sorted by size and will be distributed almost immediately.

Helping Hands is actively encouraging supporters to participate in a virtual food drive, and Blevins said any organization interested in conducting a drive may consider collecting for another category they rarely receive donations for — “Cleaning and personal hygiene supplies. I would encourage anyone who wanted to do a drive for things like soap and toothpaste and dental floss or combs,” she said.

Cadet Lt. Col. Cory Black and Cadet Maj. Evan Hedge said the sock drive was more successful than they had expected, and encouraged them to try another drive on behalf of Helping Hands in the future. The students said most of the socks were new, although some were contributed from personal collections.

“They were all laundered,” Hedge noted. “They were all clean and everything.”

Helping Hands is a non-profit organization providing emergency assistance by direct distribution of food, clothing and household items, utility and prescription assistance, referral services and education to low-income individuals and families in Greenup County. For more information about services and programs or support efforts, visit helpinghandsofgreenup.com or call (606) 473-6916.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.