Relating to the Need

Photo by Christopher Toy, Salvation Army Western Territory. Courtesy of

Story submitted by guest blogger Larry Rowe, Soldier of The Salvation Army Lighthouse Corps and Family Services Operations Manager for The Salvation Army in San Francisco.

We use the socks donated by Hanes on outreach night when we pass out sandwiches to homeless people.

It’s something you have to see to believe. Even though the folks we serve (my formerly-homeless self included!) may have greater needs such as shelter or food, they get so excited when offered a new pair of socks.

It may seem trivial, but if you think about it, nothing feels as good as a new pair of socks. Keep in mind, homeless people’s feet can be damaged from dirty socks or no socks at all, or simply by the consequences of poor hygiene.

Socks give you a sense of comfort. It sounds silly, but it’s true. For a while we didn’t have any socks to distribute and our target population was very disappointed.

Because of the Hanes donation, we are sending out socks for homeless people on outreach night on a weekly basis. And we’re seeing a lot of happy smiles again.

We also use the socks in our clothing room. One of the greatest thing about the Hanes donation is that we can cover the whole families’ need in San Francisco because the socks come in different sizes.

I can relate to the need, because my mom was a single parent whose sole income came from government assistance. For a low-income family, socks are probably last of the list of needs. When you factor in school clothes and school supplies, rising cost of food and gas, often socks cannot take priority on a family’s list of needs.


In his role, Larry does weekly outreach to homeless men and women in the city of San Francisco. He also helps low-income families with the essentials of life: food, clothing, shelter and socks!

For more information on the ways you can donate life’s necessities to someone in need either in the form of monetary or physical donations, please visit us at:

Thank you to Expect Change blog of The Salvation Army, Western Territory for sharing this piece. You can visit this great blog at:

And, another thank you to Hanes for their generous donation which allows us to fill the need nationwide!