AHA MEDIA at Sox in the City 2010 launch at Vancouver City Hall

Tenth year of Sox in the City celebrated today at Vancouver City Hall!

Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), in partnership with PHS Community Services launched the annual Sox in the City campaign today at Vancouver City Hall. The campaign which is celebrating its 10 year, gathers and distributes new or gently used socks to people  in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Mayor Gregor Robertson, VCH’s Betheny Jeal, PHS Community Services Society’s Liz Evans and London Drugs’ Dave Woogman kicked off the 2010 Sox in the City Campaign.

“The Sox in the City campaign is an important addition to the other initiatives underway in Vancouver to help people who are homeless,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City is now opening temporary winter shelter and the people at those shelters and on the street will benefit greatly from new socks and other cold weather necessities”

Warm dry feet are a must for the many homeless people in Vancouver who walk as many as 20 miles every day in ill-fitting shoes and no socks.  Even a small blister can trigger serious blood and bone infections that can lead to long hospital stays.  These ailments can be prevented with a pair of clean dry socks.

“Something as simple as pair of clean, dry socks can ward off a wide range of health problems, especially for people with diabetes or those battling serious infections” said Bethany Jeal, Clinical Coordinator, VCH. “Socks are not an accessory items for many residents of the Downtown Eastside – they are a necessity.  Without them, people can develop sores, lesions and other wounds that are tough to heal and, in some cases, can result in death”

The socks collected this year will be distributed by the PHS LifeSkills Centre, a member-run community and support centre located in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, which will use the socks in its foot health program.

“The gift of a clean new pair of socks on a wet winter day goes a long way,” said PHS LifeSkills Project Director Coco Culbertson.  “It’s not just a critical health intervention, it’s also an opportunity to engage these folks in a hot meal, a foot soak, and friendly conversation which, in turn, could lead them to additional support, such as housing.”

Typically a clean, new pair of socks will last a homeless person just three days. In order to address this critical need, the 2010 campaign goal is to collect 20,000 socks for distribution.

This year’s Sox in the City campaign has the full support of London Drugs.

“London Drugs is thrilled to be participating in the Sox in the City Campaign, ” said Wynne Powell, president and CEO of London Drugs. “To help kick-start the campaign, London Drugs is donating 1,000 pairs of socks and we are also offering a 5-pack ladies socks for $1 at all of our Vancouver London Drugs stores.”

Vancouver City Hall and the Vancouver Police Department are also supporting the campaign by hosting SoxBoxes.

To donate socks, please drop off new or gently used (ideally white cotton adult sports-type socks) in the big red SoxBoxes at the following locations:

All Vancouver London Drugs stores:

  • Georgia & Granville: 710 Granville Street
  • Broadway & Cambie: 525 West Broadway
  • East Hastings: 2585 East Hastings
  • Kerrisdale: 2091 West 42nd Ave
  • Robson: 1187 Robson Street
  • Kingsway: 3328 Kingsway
  • Davie Street: 1650 Davie Street
  • Victoria Square: 5639 Victoria Drive
  • Broadway & Vine: 2230 West Broadway
  • Woodwards: 351 Abbott Street

Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12 Avenue

Grandview-Woodland Policing Centre 1977 Commercial Drive

For more information on Sox in the City, and to find out how you or your organization can donate socks, please visit http://www.vch.ca and click on the Sox in the City icon.

Sox in the City runs until January 31, 2011

Below is Mirae, Shawn, Tony and Rocky D of LifeSkills Centre who would appreciate some clean, dry socks from Sox in the City

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