Fresno Unified employees, students band together to collect sock donations for students in need


Jennifer Crackel works in the prevention and intervention department at Fresno Unified School District.

In her role, she sees a lot of the district’s homeless students.

“So we see lots of kids come through our schools that need different kinds of things,” Crackel says.

Adding, “We’d love to help every single one of them and outfit them with everything that they need, and sometimes we can do that and sometimes we just can’t.”

In looking for a way that she and her students could help, Crackel came across what she calls a very simple idea.

Socks were the most requested item in homeless shelters across the country.

They call it “Socktober,” a month-long effort to collect as many socks as possible.

Crackel says there is a need because when you are a family struggling to make ends meet, items like socks are the first to go.

“If you don’t have the things that you need, socks, they are just not a priority,” Crackel says.

And socks are something nearly anyone can donate.

Crackel started the collection with just her office, but it spread to nearly every district office in Fresno Unified, including the superintendent’s, who has a thing for socks.

“This has nothing to do with me as superintendent, only then I can just promote the wonderful things that our people are doing,” says Bob Nelson, Fresno Unified superintendent.

He added, “You just have a cross section of good human beings who just want to do great things for kids.”

Crackel says what’s really neat about donating socks, is that it’s something kids can afford to do.

Students at Fig Garden Elementary have been participating for four years.

Kids collect socks that will go to other kids at places like the Evangel Home or Marjoree Mason Center.

“It makes me feel amazing because I think we’re spreading this message to our kids and people in our community that any little bit you can do helps,” Crackel says.

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