P.O. Box 2404
Colorado Springs, Co. 80901
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501(c)(3) non profit
Statement of Purpose: Sock It Too ĎEm Inc. recognizes that something as simple as socks can help to better lives. With this in mind, our mission is to give new socks to every person who needs them, with the hope that we can make every step people take a little easier.
Daniel, 40 years old
I came here in í09 from New York and was living with my brother and a friend. I moved in with a friend and he kicked me out on the streets in 2010. [My dad hands out socks on a weekly basis, what does mean to you, if anything?] Warm feet in the winter time! It is really helpful. Jon provides clean socks for people who donít have clean socks.
Socks are something that a lot of people overlook when donating to organizations aimed at helping, so what can you say about socks that is super helpful?
Clean feet. Clean socks, clean feet. Clean feet make me feel happy.
More Than A Meal provides breakfast for the homeless community and anybody who wants to come.
It all started when I ran into Jon and I asked, what are you doing? Heís handing out socks! I get into a conversation and he tells me about the Wesleyan church and he tells me where itís at, so I did a 180 and I turned around and I ended up going down there to the church. Consequently, Iíve had many blessings and things are working out. They have the Saturday thing here, which is really cool. Thatís how it all started. Those socks that he was handing out were a seed to be planted. The pair of socks had me turned around 180 degrees after I talked to him. Who are you guys? And Iíve been getting blessings ever since. You know, you have your Saturday morning get together and Iím finding out that you get more than socks. Iíve talked to so many of these people and Iím realizing itís a wonderful ministry that heís doing. And it all started with him handing me a pair of socks. I asked him, ĎWho are you, giving me socks?í and he gave me a good testimony, so thatís how it all started with me and the Wesleyan church here. And all he did, and to this day, in my life, I donít know anybody who gives out a fresh pair of socks because I run around and I need them, I need a fresh pair of socks. I donít do my laundry, Iíll get a new pair of socks this weekend. Is that lazy, or not? Yeah, the socks I did have on, I got rid of them for a new one, and believe it or not, itís making me lazy. I get new stuff every week. The ministry here is extending itself. Itís walking the walk and talking the talk. I tell people this: I run into college professors, educated people, top of the line people, supposedly what they would refer to as intellectuals, they donít even know John 3.16, which to me is where the start of education begins. And when they go out into eternity with all their degrees and ratings and certifications, theyíre still not going to have that one literature that would have made the difference the whole way through. So everything starts with John 3.16. Starts. A lot of people out there, supposedly, are smart, but theyíll find out they were really dumb, that none of that really mattered. So Iím just saying, thatís my testimony. Youíve heard of Stephen Hawking, right? Heís an atheist. Very intelligent, intellectual man, and I think of that verse in the Bible, the great white throne judgment. And I saw many before me, both small and great. Heís going to be one of those very smart people whoís going to find out that heís very small with all of his knowledge. And then you run into people like Allen here, heís an intellectual giant, but I have a feeling heís going to have a crap load of treasure because heís done a lot for Jesus. So I was thinking, those socks are more than just socks. They put out the message that needs to be put out. And itís put out in such a way that the timing is always perfect. Those socks gave me [something I canít hear]. Nobody else is out there, the shiny-shoe people, I call them. They donít need no socks. Itís too bad, because nobody will ever reach them. So thatís the essay answer to an essay question.
Homelessness is hard. If you donít have money for a cup of coffee, you canít even make it into a bathroom. Itís really hard to find the time to actually trim your nails and your toenails and things like that. A double pair of socks is what keeps you warm when youíre kicked out of every place that doesnít want you to be there. It doesnít matter what you look like, whether youíre clean or not, they really donít want you there. A pair of socks gives you the opportunity to be warm and comfortable in a world that is cold and hard. I thank you for what you do, blessings upon your ministry. Go with Him, thatís the only way.
I know Sock Man, Jon. He passes out socks to the homeless. It means a lot because one of the first things that you notice, I even saw a thing not too long ago on TV about it, itís one of the very first things that you notice about people, that they need socks to keep their feet warm. Heís an awesome dude. Heís a good Christian man, heís doing
what the Lord led him to do, and I like him. We seem to get along pretty good. Of course, we all fit into the rebel side of the biker clan, which is okay. Like I said, he does what God led him to do, heís a good guy.
I was actually invited [to volunteer here] and then I heard that a bunch of people peeled out, that they didnít actually want to jump in and volunteer, and it was just laid on my heart to help out. So I go to Randy Stringís house, sorta, and I help him sort all the clothes and fold the clothes and load the van on Fridays and then I come here on Saturday mornings and I try to make sure the van is running and make sure the van is unlocked so it can be unloaded, and I just try to jump in where I can jump in and then I set up the sound and run the sound and so, you know, I know all of these guys. Iíve known them for a long time, and we just kind of click together, and thatís what itís about, itís just kind of, it takes a community, it doesnít just take one person. Youíll never know how many people are willing to jump in and help that you donít even know, it not only blesses them, but it blesses you and gives you joy to see people jumping in and helping out where they donít need to be helping out. But they do it. They do it because they want to, not because they have to.
Terrill Pruitt 55
31/2 years ago, I was a professor at the University of Delaware. Life kind of hit me, I lost all of my family in a three year period. I was at my motherís funeral, got back to my own life, and my wife and my kids are gone.
Iíve always liked Colorado. I used to come here on tours. I thought itíd be a good place to come start over. Itís been a little rough so far, not very smooth.
Socks means warmth.
*Note: could not verify the ministry she talks about on Facebook; couldnít really understand what she was saying in the interview, so I tried various different words, but nothing came up*
I am a Salvation Army Soldier for the Salvation Army. I started my own ministry online on Facebook. Itís called Tigger Town Street Ministry. Weíre just starting out and right now weíre trying to outreach to people at the parks and stuff. I believe every person has a calling and that is one of my callings. We come to help. We come to support more than anything.
I think [getting socks] is reaching out to others. I think itís trying to help other people in a time of need when they donít have much or a lot of stuff.
I think that people overlook the homeless. They need a lot of help and support and as believers in Christ, we should reach out to others in a time of need, even in times when we donít want to. But the Lord always provides, and I think itís good to reach out to people that are in need and that are needing shelter and that are needing socks.
I think people overjudge others, which is why the homeless are overlooked.
Drugs and alcohol. I met your dad, Jon, in probably the last year. Heís been pretty helpful. Itís been a lot of fun.
A pair of socks means warm feet. Dry, warm feet. Just a little hope, helping people out. Thatís about all that I have to say.
What [Jon being out there every week] means to me is someone who cares. Thatís the main part. People that care, like your dad, helps me out. It helps a lot of us out. There are quite a few people who donít care out there. Different agencies around town claim that they can help you out, but they donít have open hands.
I volunteered at first because my sister to come and sheís really into missions and helping people. So I came and I fell in love with the ministry and the heart behind the ministry.
Socks are something that you wouldnít typically see that have value, but to these people who donít have a ton, a pair of socks can mean everything. I met one guy who had frostbite on his feet and he lost his toes. A pair of socks can mean keeping your toes, or not keeping them. It can mean anything between keeping your toes to just keeping your feet warm. I keep hearing from Jon about how important it was when he was on the streets. I mean, I wouldnít know because Iíve always been taken care of and properly clothed.
[To people who may be looking to volunteer:] I would say that this is definitely. I would say that this is probably about the best place that you can go because itís so genuine. Jonís heart for it is all in; you canít find a ministry like that anywhere. He uses his own money and so much of his time for this ministry and most other ministries arenít like that.
Iíve been here in the Springs for a little over two years. I work minimally. Thatís why I do a lot of ropemaking. Eventually, it will pay off. Nothing is going to make me rich, but at least itís honest [work]. I come out to these things for the homeless because thatís what He did. I find it very interesting that a lot of people claim to be Christians and ask what they can do for the homeless or something like that, didnít Christ say that if you did it for them, you did it for me?
NA and AA work when the people want it to work, otherwise itís just cramming the steps down their throats. Itís the same way with Christianity. How many Christians do you see out there telling people that theyíre going to burn in hell? That message doesnít work. The message of love for someone does. I have no problem with NA, but NA people have problems with me. What happens when you see something from a different perspective. Marijuana, for how many people, is actually a medicine, and yet some people see it as bad. But then pharmaceuticals make medicines that kill people and make millions. That, to me, is just wrong. I came here for the same reason that Christ did. If he could heal on the Sabbath, why wouldnít I get into a ministry to help them the same way that Christ did? They wonder how the God and the devil play games, and I tell them that itís like this: God and the devil play games, and God always lets the devil make the first move. That negative line, God always comes back with the positive over it. Like Iím saying with the marijuana thing,
Christ himself said if you give up your life, you will gain it back. If you try to save your life, which most Christians do, you lose it. When I see this here, I see family. Be it the people serving, or the people getting served. Like I said, this is, to me, home.
For a lot of people, getting a pair of socks means keeping your feet warm. Because I actually work, I can go to places like the Arc and stuff, but when youíre out here and you canít wash them, you have to throw them away. Someone like your dad, out here giving out socks, that is a great help to these people.
Harassing the poor is not the answer. And what your dad does, thatís a big help to us.
I live in my van. I have been for about 4 and a half years, by choice. Itís cold out there. Those socks keep your toes warm. Right now Iím not working, but Iíve been really fortunate where everything falls into place for me. I get no checks, no help or anything. I am crazy. Thatís about it.
Socks keep the toes warm. The love of it makes the socks warmer. There are a lot of soup kitchens out here, like Marion Soup Kitchen, they hand the food out and ďHere!Ē you know? A lot of them are into it trying to get credit on their credit card of God, you know? Thereís no love there, where this is all love. They do it for the love it. And your dad is the one who does not because he has to do it for the credit of it, heís doing it for the love of it, and it makes it all the better to receive it.
My father-in-law is married to my mom and she passed away and he kicked me out after that, so Iíve been on the streets since, Iíd say, April of last year. I wonít be here long. Anyway, Iíve been on the streets, and I appreciate your, especially when itís raining, your father gives out socks, and that is just so kind because your feet go bad as soon as they start getting wet. Thank you so much for everything you do.
I donít think people really understand how important socks are. They protect from blisters on your feet, without socks and stuff. Jesus didnít wear socks, but Iím sure that sand ate his feet up. I donít know, I wasnít there, but yeah. He gives them to everybody and heís so nice about it. Thatís what does it. Sometimes he has some little girls helping him, but anyway, yeah, thatís it. I do appreciate everything yaíll do. Thank you very much.
I have been volunteering since this started, about five years.
What I particularly enjoy about this situation is that you are really able to build relationships with people on the streets. You get to know them, know their stories. There are fewer barriers than some other organizations.
Whatís really beneficial [about giving out socks] is that the people who are out here have very specific basic needs and particularly the folks who are living outside and donít have the means to get what they need and Iím just guessing here, itís really hard to take care of yourself. Like doing your laundry or keeping track of your things, staying warm is the biggest year, especially this time of year. A pair of socks really helps out. They keep you refreshed and warm.
Image: ďJonathan Waltch (4)Ē
I came out here from Missouri. I used to work at a sawmill in Missouri and I wanted to make better money, so I came out here for the economy. I kinda started working at a day labor place, trying to get something going there, and I broke my ankle and lost my apartment. Salvation Army, they helped me out. And I got a job and I kept working and started paying off hospital bills. Speaking of pain, they got the best of me on that. Iím moving up out of the homeless ranks.
Your dad is doing good. Heís helping me get off the streets. And I didnít have to be in a tent or sleep down in a ditch and I was able to keep paying my concrete and clothes. When they get too worn out, they have to go to the trash, so I come here to kinda get a breath of fresh air so I can stay afloat and get to the next level. Right now Iím making van payments. Now I got a vehicle for work and I make land payments. Iíve helped here for about a year now.
Typically, you want to buy a pair of socks because itís mean in the winter time. It gives them more comfort to walk with. Definitely you want the comfort that they give, so it would be important to them.
Image: Not Pictured
I came out here on the 26th of December last year to stay with some so-called friends and they went to jail before I got out here, so I ended up homeless when I got out here. I spent, so far, everything but last month, living outside. I got me a job and got me a house last Tuesday, well an apartment, so I got rest in me and now Iím back on my feet, or at least trying, anyway.
Socks are very important, especially during the winter time. If you donít keep your feet warm, your whole body is going bad. You gotta keep your feet good, or else you wonít make it. And your daddy, bless his soul, because heís out there more than I am, it seems, helping everybody. I thank God for him everyday. I think everybody appreciates him and knows him as the Sock Man. Like I said, I really donít know him, I take time to talk with him every now and then, but I thank God for him everyday.
David: A lot, actually. Karen: It helps my feet cause I walk around in flip-flops all day and it hurts a lot and it relaxes and soothes them. Especially since itís cold in Colorado, it helps a lot.
David: Not like you guys.
Karen: You definitely have to know people.
David: Yeah, you do have to know people around here to find anything. Thereís a bunch of things around here that we didnít even know about and weíre finding out about and people are telling us about. We just started.
Karen: Weíve been living in our car, but our car got impounded a few days ago. We got jumped a couple nights ago. Our car was parked in a parking lot of a store. The cops towed it because it was in the parking lot and we went to go talk to the cops about it and they said they thought we were lying about getting jumped because our car got towed, and all of our stuff is in the car, we donít have anything. We made our way downtown from over by the Citadel because thatís the one place that we know that actually helps people that donít have anything. I donít have any family.
Karen: Food is a major thing because we didnít have any food for a couple days and it was hard to come by. No one would help. The minute we got downtown, people would help us with food.
David: Everyone was working to help us, kind of thing. I know the homeless community is, people look down on them, but they try to help each other out because nobody else will help them, you know what I mean?
Karen: Clothes are another major thing.
David: These are the only clothes we have right now.
Karen: As soon as I got to the homeless shelter, a homeless woman came out immediately with a shirt.
Iím Steven and Iím a reborn Christian. I believe God has me out here for different reasons. It means a lot. A pair of socks when youíre struggling protects the feet and may Jesus bless. Very few.
Mark. Well, I come down here to the soup kitchen a lot because I donít have enough SS money to last me through the month. I come down here and your dad is always down here giving away socks. The first time I seen him was on Easter and heís trying to give me a pair of socks. Itís a great thing he does. It means a lot. Iím getting all of my socks back now, one because of your dad.
My name is Devonte Gibbs. He actually came out to me one day and offered me a pair of socks and I kind of accepted them and I was like, ďThanks,Ē you know? It felt like more of a comfortable feeling to know ĎDang, I got a pair of socks.í And I guess it helps our situation because at the same time without clean socks, youíre not really as comfortable as you should be and it kinda shows you like, dang you didnít really know how important just socks were to a situation as far as a lot of people out here donít have a lot of socks. They donít make the best decisions all the time. It just shows you, like, it gives you a comfort back. I donít know how he figured it out, but I told my friend, ďYo, this guy giving us socks, man.Ē
Ashley Jones. I was just walking by to go up to ESM and he was handing out socks and I was like ďCool!Ē so I took, like, I went and I took a pair of socks and I said thank you, thinking that that would be the only time that I saw him, but every week I came by and he was there, every week, giving out socks. Itís really helpful because I have absolutely no socks. Itís just really helpful that heís here, giving out socks.
Levi, Dakota, and Mikayla. We see [Jon] quite often, me and Dakota do. Itís just great to know that somebody out there cares enough to help us out because right now weíre going through rough times and getting anything for help is a great big help. Socks [are] the difference between having hurt feet and being able to feel comfortable. You donít want to go into somebody elseís house or any business and have stinky feet when you come in. Sometimes we canít always get to a washer to wash them, so getting that extra pair so you can look civil and part of society [makes getting socks helpful]. Thereís a lot of people out there that have plenty of money that think ĎOh you know, a pair of socks,í and they can just go and throw them away and get another pair, but there [are] some people out here, like me, that [are] unemployed at the moment that just that pair of socks makes a difference in the world. Like going to the Marion House like we do, and eating that food, there would be no way I could feed my kids all the time with how high the prices have gotten on everything without the help.
My nameís Guy. I go to the Soup Kitchen fairly often these days. Yeah, well, Iím poor and I can hardly afford to buy socks and stuff. And really, mostly, I appreciate the material thing about having some socks. Itís just nice to have someone being nice like that, that you see all the time doing nice stuff for people. Oh, uh, I donít know. A little bit. Sometimes thereís people in the park, Christians, giving out food and stuff. Well, I know people do take it for granted, they take the soup kitchen for granted, they take everything for granted these days and it really irks me. But I appreciate it and itís a shame that a lot of people donít.