Socks for Seniors Oklahoma
Socks for Seniors Oklahoma (SSO) mission is to provide personal items, including but not limited to socks, for senior citizens, most of whom are in local nursing homes at Christmas time. Often these seniors have no local family members or limited interaction with their families and can feel lonely or forgotten during the holiday season. SSO volunteers aim to make these seniors feel special and remembered by delivering, to the facilities, holiday bags which contain a pair of socks (the most needed item for most seniors in elder care facilities), and other personal care items, like toothbrushes, lip balm, hand soap, candy, lap blankets etc. These bags and their contents are organized and stuffed by SSO volunteers during November each year, but the work starts much sooner when volunteers meet to organize items and preparation donations for the bags.
Socks for Seniors Oklahoma began in 2013 when founder, Sue McMillan and one other volunteer delivered gift bags containing socks and other personal items to 127 seniors in three local nursing homes. They were inspired by the excitement they saw in those seniors eyes during that first distribution and the next year they began asking for help from the public. They gave out information about SSO and displayed large Christmas stockings in a few select businesses.
In 2016 Socks for Seniors Oklahoma was supplying 17 local nursing homes (974 seniors) and the volunteer numbers were starting to grow.
In 2017 SSO added the VA Alzheimer home in Norman, OK, and prepared 1497 socks seniors.
February 26, 2018 Socks for Seniors Oklahoma became a formal 501 (c) 3 charitable organization allowing solicitation of tax deductible gifts from their supporters. In the fall SSO began partnering with local agencies to also deliver bags to home-bound seniors.
In 2019, 12 SSO volunteers delivered 2,000 sock bags to 27 nursing homes, the VA nursing home, the VA Alzheimer unit and over two dozen home-bound seniors. These bags included 700 lap blankets, hand tied by SSO volunteers.
Socks for Seniors Oklahoma does not have any paid employees and does not discriminate as to age, sex,(except to show which gifts are appropriate to men and which to women), religion, or race.