Socks and Voting. What do they have in Common?

Sometimes it feels like the apocalypse. Hugs not allowed. Travel not allowed. Records every day for new cases of coronavirus. Jobs still a problem for family and friends. Huge demand at the food bank where I seem to be volunteering every week. And then there’s the election and politics….

“What can I DO?”

How many times have I heard that question in the last few months?

There are a lot of things we can do. Since March I’ve tried to expand the idea of what to DO. Not everyone can can give money, I know that, especially now, but there are many other things. I emptied out my credit card points to buy Target gift cards which I shared with folks in need. I’ve worked on connections with neighbors so we can help each other if need be. During some of the power shut offs I have electricity when many of my neighbors don’t. Daddy’s ice cream bars found a home in my freezer.

Just do “the next right thing”, that’s what works for me. In the spring when shelves were empty of cleaners and sanitizers, I saw an advertisement that a local distillery had started making hand sanitizer instead of booze. I made a bunch of calls and ended up buying hand sanitizer by the gallon and putting it into little bottles to distribute to people in need. Finding the spray bottles was the real challenge as other people had the same idea. For three months I decanted and bottled thousands of bottles. Thanks to Ariel and Devin for helping out. As sanitizer became more available I’ve moved on.

Demand at our local food has stayed really high and since the National Guard helpers have disappeared I’m spending time there, packing dairy boxes, sorting a giant tub of pears, or packing up bags of frozen meat. Dairy boxes are MUCH easier than meat. While typically the food bank in Napa would serve a few dozen families in an afternoon it now serves a few HUNDRED families in an afternoon. Sorting and organizing is a big job.

The chefs I volunteer with are planning for Thanksgiving, working on the menu and extra things to make the holiday special. The special thing is socks. Winter socks.

People experiencing homelessness need many things of course. One of the easiest and quickest ways to to help is new socks. So if you can’t think of how to help the world be a better place, buy some socks. I’m happy to accept or share them with any shelter or organization that serves those in need.

It’s so simple. Socks. Toss a couple pair into your shopping cart. What could be more simple.

Socks and voting, two simple things to do to make the world better.

About Karen Ray

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