People Magazine’s PeopleNow ran a human interest story for their hometown hero segment about Tom Costello Jr and The Joy of Sox.
The story consisted of an article by Cathy Free and a short TV interview via Skype by PeopleNow host Andrea Boehlke.
On the show Tom respondents to three questions from Andrea
- Why were you afraid of the homeless?
- What are some common misconceptions about the homeless?
- How can people find out more and help?
A link to the PeopleNow TV segment is here.
The article talks about Tom overcoming his initial fear of the homeless and going on to start a nonprofit to provide a much needed, but rarely donated item of clothing – socks.
In the article, Gerald Gibbons, a medical student at Jefferson Medical School who helps run a JeffHOPE clinic for the homeless says socks are the number one requested item at the shelter. He continues, “The guys absolutely love them. The importance of (new) socks in this population really comes into play when you recognize how many gentlemen have diabetes, which can cause numbness in the feet.”
Gibbons continues, “Clean socks can help prevent fungal infections and blisters, which can lead to open wounds. One of the best feelings we get all week is when Tom drops off his socks at the shelter. All the men smile and say. ‘How many socks do you have today?’
And Rachel Falkove, Executive Director of Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, says “Socks are something that everybody needs, but they rarely get donated.” She continues, “When I see how eagerly Tom’s quality socks are accepted by the families we serve, I realize what an important service Tom is providing. Each time he comes in with boxes of socks, he always makes us smile.”
The Joy of Sox® is a Philadelphia-based 501(c )(3) nonprofit with the mission to give joy to the homeless by giving them new socks. Their vision is to be able to give several pairs of new socks to every homeless person in the United States several times a year. Founded in 2010 they have given over 204,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless in 29 states and three countries.
A link to a pdf file of the article is here.
A link to The Joy of Sox website is here.