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Sock Drive To Benefit Homeless In Wichita

Maggie Ballard
Piles of donated socks.

People who visit the Lord’s Diner and other homeless outreach centers in Wichita for meals this Thanksgiving will get something extra: socks.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports on a Wichita woman’s annual effort to help those in need.

Maggie Ballard calls her drive “Socktober.” For the past four years, she’s been collecting socks and then handing them out during the Thanksgiving holiday.

"I picked socks because you could buy the most quantity and make the most effort," Ballard says. "Not everybody can buy 100 coats for everybody."

Ballard uses social media to get the word out about her sock drive. This year, she expects to give out about 3500 pairs of socks at several locations.

"Everybody gets at least one pair," Ballard says. "Last year everyone was able to get two. And to see someone make a pair of mittens out of a pair of socks is just really heartbreaking, but also really awesome that they have the opportunity to be able to stay warm, too."

Ballard has received socks and money donations from friends and neighbors locally, and from people in South Carolina, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri and Texas.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.


Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.