One by one, the students tossed striped, fuzzy, green, and even rainbow-colored socks into a plastic bags as they quickly calculated their total.
The bag grew heavy and began to slump down as it filled with more and more socks.
At last, they had finished counting all of the socks. Together, they had made it happen.
For the past few weeks, third-grade classes at Holy Spirit Elementary School have been collecting socks to donate to New Opportunities in Carroll, which will give the clothing items to low-income individuals and families, said Kristina Grossman, program assistant at New Opportunities.
“The kid-size socks, we will be giving to the kiddos that will receive Christmas toys,” Grossman said. “Socks may seem like such a minimal item that when they’re needed, people just buy them, but our clients might not have that luxury.”
Kelsea Anderson, a third-grade teacher at Kuemper Catholic School System, said her class first thought of the idea of collecting socks after watching the YouTube star “Kid President.”
The entire third-grade class at Kuemper collected 550 pairs of socks that they donated to New Opportunities Nov. 1. They started out with a target number of socks, but after quickly surpassing it, they just continued collecting.
“When I originally talked to the principal about it, they were interested to see how it went in third grade this year, and they were talking about maybe doing it school-wide next year,” Anderson said. “That is something we kind of look forward to.”
Anderson said her class had fun collecting the socks and seeing the various socks their classmates brought in, but the project also taught them to appreciate what they have and think about what they are thankful for, she said.
“I think what we really liked is that we were setting the goals, and we were beating them so often,” Anderson said. “I think it’s also fun to see all of the different kinds of socks everyone brings in, especially coming up on Thanksgiving weekend and thinking about the things we are thankful for.”
The socks will provide New Opportunities with a vital piece of clothing during wintertime, Grossman said.
“Any type of winter items, socks included, are a huge need right now, especially with winter coming so soon,” she said. “We are in need of coats, boots, hats and gloves, too. We want to make sure that no individual goes cold during the winter season.”