United Way of Westchester and Putnam partnered with The Building Blocks Foundation and Afya Foundation to give away 50,000 pairs of Bombas socks on Monday, July 18.
With the help of volunteers from the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, Inc., and others, these organizations gave out hundreds of cases of socks to nonprofits that will distribute them to their clients in need. The Afya Foundation, which collects, donates, and distributes medical and other supplies globally, hosted the event at its warehouse in Yonkers.
Bombas is a comfort-focused sock and apparel brand with a mission to help those in need. For every pair of socks purchased, one is donated.
Jay Mota, founder of The Building Blocks Foundation, an organization that works to improve the educational experience for students who are economically challenged and are without housing, said that Bombas socks has partnered with the Building Blocks Foundation to give almost 100,000 pairs of socks to students in New York City per year over the last five years.
This is the second time that The Building Blocks Foundation teamed up with United Way of Westchester and Putnam to distribute a significant portion of the socks.
“Partnering up with United Way is an honor,” Mota said. “I know that they’re going to help other organizations with these socks, so I just want to thank everyone who came out on a rainy day to help us move almost 400 boxes of socks.”
“We are thrilled with the generosity of Bombas and humbled by The Building Blocks Foundation’s willingness to partner with us to help our residents in need,” said Tom Gabriel CEO and President of United Way Westchester and Putnam. “We are excited to distribute so many socks to our communities, especially after hearing from our partners how in-need people are of these items.”
Laurie Collins-Thomas, chapter president of the Greater Hudson Valley (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc., couldn’t fit her entire order in car, so she made two trips to pick up socks for her organization. Her chapter organizes a holiday clothing drive, but also provides necessary items throughout the year.
“Socks are the most needed items in shelters,” she said. “To get a really nice, quality sock is important. Socks are the most requested item in all the age groups and in all the agencies we work with, so this really helps us to meet the need within all the communities we work with.”
Representatives from several organizations said they appreciate the distribution because they know there is a need for socks in the communities they serve.
“We thank United Way so much for this donation because it assists us in helping those that need us the most,” said John Thompson, chief development officer for YMCA Yonkers.
Jean Anderson, who picked up boxes for New Union Baptist Church in New Rochelle, said the church serves many people without housing.
“This is a real blessing for a lot of people,” she said.