Operation Foster Socks a hit

From left, barbers Wesley Ramsay and Joel Francis; Kids in Need founder Linda Roil; Mr Walter Barbershop’s owner, Debra Jenkins; and barber Raelene Graham, with 350 pairs of socks collected for kids in need across the Waikato.

Kids coming into care across the Waikato will have nice new socks to keep their feet warm, thanks to the generosity customers of Mr Walter Barbershop (check name) in Leamington.

Mr Walter’s owner Debra Jenkins ran the collection drive for new socks – dubbed Operation Foster Socks – over a couple of months, far exceeding the initial target of 200 socks for Kids in Need Waikato. Instead, they managed to collect 350 pairs of socks from far and wide, including some sent from America after barber Wesley Ramsay put a post on Instagram.

Linda Roil, the woman behind Kids in Need Waikato, was delighted with the donation, saying that the organisation has been gathering momentum since she started it last year.

“Kids in Need is a community thing, and it just blows me away,” she said. “I look at Cambridge as the village looking after the children.”

Debra, who got the idea from the USA, where sock drives are held for the homeless, said she was thrilled with the response from her customers. “It was an easy thing for men to do,” she explained, adding that men would often come in for a haircut and then nip out to buy socks after they had seen the posters up in the barbershop. Or kids would dash in with socks while mum waited in the car outside, she added.

After the success of Operation Foster Socks, the next thing Debra has on the cards to help is an ‘Undie 500’, collecting new underpants for kids in need.

Something the community is bound to get behind.

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