Pandora Bracelet Local sock campaign inspires W

Local sock campaign inspires Windsor

Over the p Pandora Bracelet ast six years Sarah Lewis’ campaign to collect warm socks for the homeless has grown from a personal pledge into a source of inspiration for other local groups.

call it the ripple effect; when one person hears about it they tell another person and this year it’s turned into a wave, Sarah said. many people have heard about it and given al Pandora Bracelet l these donations and support. so called ripple effect inspired Armando Zilio and Dave Cecile from the Friends of Greater Comber to team up with Lally Ford and donate 140 sleeping bags to the centre, a campaign that they plan to repeat next year.

Sarah Lewis, 13, (centre in red) poses with students from Academie Ste Cecile at the Street Help/Unit 7 Homeless Services in Windsor, Ont. The students were inspired by Lewis who donated a cheque for $11,669 and over 5000 pairs of socks. The students also donated sleeping bags and socks to the organization. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Sarah, who began her Socks Warm Your Heart campaign when she was eight years old, has been collecting socks, hats, food and sleeping bags and donating them to the Street Help/Unit 7 centre annually since 2008.

On Wednesday, Sarah delivered over 5,000 pairs of socks, a cheque for $11,669, along with hats, gloves and food. It was the largest donation that Sarah has brought to the center to date.

“My first donation in 2008 was 39 pairs of socks,” Sarah said.

This year Sarah expanded her campaign beyond the usual lemonade stand and Canadian Tire money efforts, appearing before community groups and schools to talk about her campaign and gather donations.

Academie Ste Cecile student Anish Aggarwal, 11, carries sleeping bags into the Street Help/Unit 7 Homeless Services organization Wed. Dec. 18, 2013, in Windsor, Ont. Students at the school were inspired by Sarah Lewis who has been donated socks and money for several years. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Her positive message has proved contagious and this year a number of local schools got involved, including Herman high school and Academie Ste. Cecile.

Sarah’s own school, Central public school, increased its own involvement this year by placing a large stocking in each classroom that students filled with socks. The result was more than 2,500 pairs which helped Sarah to collect more than double her goal.

“We credit Sarah with keeping our doors open. We haven’t had any funding since mid 2009 and it’s been a struggle every year our centre has actually grown bigger and bigger over the years along with the socks campaign,” said Wilson Furlonger.

Sarah’s mother Jody Hurst Lewis says the campaign wouldn’t be a success without the generosity of the Windsor community.

“We might be so far south, at the bottom of the country, but when you think about it I think we’re the shining star on the top of the tree when it comes to giving,” she said.

Sarah Lewis, 13, presents Christine Wilson Furlonger of Street Help/Unit 7 Homeless Services with a cheque for $11,669 Pandora Bracelet and over 5000 pairs of socks, Wed. Dec. 18, 20 Pandora Bracelet 13, in Windsor, Ont. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Sarah Lewis, 13, hands out some socks to a client of the Street Help/Unit 7 Homeless Services organization, Wed. Dec. 18, 2013, in Windsor, Ont. She also presented a cheque for $11,669 and over 5000 pairs of socks in total. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)