John Muir Elementary School prides itself on being the kind of neighborhood school where teachers value the community that surrounds their campus. When possible, classes sometimes take walking field trips into the nearby streets and it was one of those local excursions that stoked the fires the community advocacy among Sky Davis’ students.
The class saw some trash on the street, they saw some people smoking but what resonated most was the sight of a homeless individual who lacked shoes and socks.
Student Abraam Tawfeek said they discussed shoes but settled on socks due to concerns over costs.
“It was more easier,” he said.
The class has solicited socks via donation bins on campus and is using an online funding platform to help purchase additional socks for donations.
“Hi! We are Ms Davis’s class at John Muir Elementary School in Santa Monica,” says their fundraising page. “We walked around the city and saw lots of homeless people. We did research and found out that we have 921 homeless people in Santa Monica. We are having a sock drive to make sure that each homeless person has socks to keep them warm this winter. We want to collect and buy socks so that they do not hurt themselves and are comfortable. Can you help us collect socks? If you are able to help, please donate. You can also bring new socks to our school office.”
The group of 10 students had been studying how to make change at their home, school, city, state and country. While they were unsuccessful in their efforts to secure more ice cream at school, they have had more success with the sock drive securing about $740 in fundraising so far and several hundred pairs of socks.
As part of their work, the students wrote letters to the Mayor asking for his support.
“I am writing to you because I feel worried about the homeless, said Roderick Johnson. Ms. Davis’ class wants to give socks to the homeless in Santa Monica. The socks will make them feel comfortable. I will give the homeless people good socks. I will give them blue socks. We want to collect 1,000 pairs of socks.”
Mayor Ted Winterer did donate to the drive and helped promote the students’ efforts.
“Part of our plan to reduce our street population is to engage our community in playing a role in the solutions,” he said. “So when I learned of the heartfelt and compassionate efforts by Ms. Davis and her students to raise funds to provide socks to service agencies to provide to the homeless, I immediately made a donation to their cause. I hope others will also be inspired to do so.”
Muir Principal Paula Lytz said the drive was inspiring due to its foundation as a student created project.
“What makes me proud is that small but mighty group of kids came up with it on their own,” she said.
Donations of new socks can be dropped off at the school office, 2526 6th St or donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com/muirsockdrive.