Quizzers boost socks project for children

Mr Walter Barbershop owner Debra Jenkins, her colleague Joel Francis, centre, and Thornton Club quiz man, Simon Friend, with one of the boxes of new socks for foster children.

Thoughts of children heading into winter with old socks – or worse still, no socks at all – prompted Leamington business owner Debra Jenkins to repeat a charity sock drive she did a couple of years ago.

Her first ‘Project Foster Socks’ drive was done after Debra met Linda Roil, founder of Kids in Need Waikato. “After that meeting, we started doing respite foster care … and I heard how some foster children don’t have socks, or only get second-hand ones,” she said. “The way I see it, all kids deserve new socks and undies.”

Debra spread the word of her first sock drive through the business she owns in Shakespeare St, Mr Walter Barbershop. She ended up that year with 500 pairs of new socks for youngsters in foster care, from toddlers to those in their late teens.

With winter steadily creeping in, she recently decided to run a second Project Foster Socks, assisted by her colleague, barber Joel Francis. This time, they received an inspired boost from quiz night attendees at the Thornton Club, bringing the number of new pairs of socks collected so far to around 680.

Simon Friend, who organises quiz nights at the club, had noticed an item on Project Foster Socks in a recent Cambridge Neighbourhood Support Group newsletter, and decided to ask the club’s 10 quiz teams to help.

“I pulled rank at the next club night and asked members to each bring in a pair of new socks. I thought we’d get between 10 and 12 pairs … I was really surprised when we ended up with 135 pairs!”

Debra said the initiative will continue for a while yet, after which she will busy herself with Pink Ribbon Day.  Further down the track, she is planning an ‘Undie 500’ drive, a play on the ‘Indie 500’, and a project she hopes will bring in new underwear for local foster children.

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