The line of cars piled up outside The Action Center parking lot on Dec. 4, and it only grew throughout the afternoon. In those cars were residents who were in a gift giving mood, and it wasn't because the holidays are around the corner. It was because they were there to make a donation and to break a world record — something that was accomplished that afternoon.
The Action Center human-services nonprofit in Lakewood sought out to collect 10,587 pairs of new socks in honor of the 10,587 people in Colorado who are homeless, according to The Action Center, and it surpassed that number. The nonprofit collected 37,556 pairs of socks at its Dec. 4 sock drive, according to CBS4. That number broke a world record that was previously held by the Temple University Campus Program Board.
One donor was the Concordia Lutheran Church in Lakewood who pulled up to The Action Center with 1,687 pairs of socks to donate.
“I have four children, and we want to show our kids why it's important to help others. There are times when people struggle through no fault of their own, and it can happen to anyone,” said Lee Ann Hufford, a Lakewood resident and cochair of missions at Concordia Lutheran Church. “It's important to help others through a rough patch.”
Some of the socks will help out residents who are financially struggling and those who are homeless like Louis Lozano. He typically stays in the Lakewood area and is patiently waiting for a housing opportunity to come in. Lozano has been receiving assistance from The Action Center for the past four years.
“This time of the year is very hard for people, and they really depend on these kinds of things to keep themselves going. It's such a wonderful thing, especially here at The Action Center,” said Lozano. The Action Center provides assistance with utilities, food, clothing and more. “They do so much for people, and it's very, very great. They've helped me so much with my life, and I don't think I'd be able to make it without them.”
With each pair of socks, The Action Center asked residents to donate a dollar that will go toward the reopening of its overnight shelter. The shelter will be used to house six to 12 Red Rocks Community College students who are experiencing homelessness. It was shutdown last summer due to less donations coming in.
The world record sock drive was documented by the Breaking History team, a group that breaks world records to highlight issues facing communities.
“(The sock drive) really shows how amazing the community is. They've responded in such a great way to provide socks for people who don't have socks,” said John Covert, director of development for The Action Center. “It's a simple need, yet people are just really gravitating toward how important it is to have a warm, dry pair of socks on. That's overwhelming for me that they would do this for us.”
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