March 1, 2011

  Socks For Soldiers

socks1Christmas time is always a hard time for soldiers to be away from home and the people they care about.  It is especially hard for wounded soldiers that are in the hospital.  This year we decided to do something that might make the time a little more pleasant for these men and women who were injured while protecting our freedom.

There are five of us in the class and we made 60 Christmas stockings that we stuffed with all kinds of goodies.  We sent some of the socks to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland, and the rest to Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany.

Each sock cost approximately $10 dollars by the time we had it constructed, filled, and shipped.  Our class could not afford that on our own, so we engaged the whole community in our project.  We made calls to let people know what we were trying to do, and talked to people that we knew around town about our project.  Several businesses made cash donations, some donated products from their stores, and one individual thought it was such a worthwhile project that he offered to pay for shipping the socks.  We also earned some money ourselves by making products to sell.  We made candy, noodles, cookies, dinner rolls, and other items that people ordered.

We made the socks from 100% recycled material.  One side was made from old blue jeans, which were donated to us from many people in our school and community, and the other side was made from blue and white striped material that had once been the curtains in our teacher’s house.  Each sock was trimmed with a red or green cuff that was cut from scraps left over from past projects. The first thing we had to do was to draw a pattern that was suitable for what we wanted to do.  The next step was to rip out the seams on the jeans so that we would have flat areas from which to socks2cut the sock pieces.  When that was finished we cut an accompanying piece of striped material for each one.

Using a sewing machine was new to most of us, so the ripping that we had practiced on the old jeans came in handy when we didn’t manage to sew all of the seams just right.  Going around the curves was the biggest challenge.
Eventually we had all of the socks put together and it was time to stuff them.  Not knowing whether or not the sock was for a man or a woman we tried to put in items that anyone could use and enjoy, such as, cookies, candy, games, cards, and other assorted items.  We made sure that in each sock there was something good to eat, something to play with, and several things that the soldiers could really use.

Making these socks was fun for all of us and we hope that they brought a little joy to the wounded soldiers that received them.