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Sock drive for the homeless a success at Spring Valley High School

December 30, 2018
Spring Valley High School students Madison Fields, Emma Blatt, Reagan Doak and Grace Callicoat deliver bags filled with socks to the Huntington City Mission on Dec. 21.

HUNTINGTON — Spring Valley High School students donated more than 500 pairs of socks to the Huntington City Mission before going on Christmas break.

The schoolwide Sock Drive for the Homeless was organized by students in the Health Informatics class in the Simulated Workplace program at the Spring Valley High Career and Technical Center.

The program allows students to perform in a workplace environment, operating as a normal business would on a day-to-day basis including holding “company meetings” every couple of weeks. According to Health Informatics instructor Jessica Van Arsdale, the curriculum requires students to plan a community outreach project.

She said the class had done canned food drives and other similar events but wanted to branch out into a bigger project this holiday season.

“They tossed around some ideas and started making calls to local businesses and homeless shelters to see what they could do,” Van Arsdale said. “The City Mission said that they are almost always in need of socks, and that idea hit and stuck with my students so that’s what they went with.”

Van Arsdale said it was a quick turnaround after the planning was complete, and students were working with a six-week timeline.

The drive brought in more than 500 pairs of new socks to be donated to the Mission. Van Arsdale said neither she nor the rest of the class could have anticipated the amount of donations that would come in.

“It’s funny because you never really think about socks being kind of pricey. It was emphasized to us that they needed to be new and of course in all different sizes,” Van Arsdale said. “We only had two bins in the school for the drive so I had to keep emptying them out, and even then I didn’t realize how many we had collected until I started counting them.”

Health Informatics students Madison Fields, Emma Blatt, Reagan Doak and Grace Callicoat took time Friday, Dec. 21, to deliver the bags of socks to the Huntington City Mission.

Van Arsdale said for her, it was an opportunity to watch her students learn firsthand the value of pouring back into their community.

“It really is better to give than receive, and you can see it on their faces — to see it sort of dawn on them that there are people in this area that need some of the simplest things like socks,” Van Arsdale said. “I’m so proud of them and the effort they put into giving back.”

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