Southern Local ‘Sock & Mitten Tree’

Southern students display a ‘Sock & Mitten Tree’. (Submitted photo)

SALINEVILLE — Southern Local Schools are sharing the warmth again this winter by collecting socks, mittens and other seasonal accessories for those in need.

District Food Service Director Kerry Morrissey said sock and mitten trees are in place in the schools’ cafeterias and faculty, staff and students are invited to donate on Dec. 4-14. National Sock and Mitten Tree Days were observed on Dec. 4 and 6, organizers called for new items to be added to the holiday palm trees and those who donate are also eligible to receive gift cards in a prize drawing on Dec. 17. Contributions are primarily socks and mittens, but some hats have also been added to the mix so community kids can brave the cold temperatures.

Morrissey began the campaign last year after seeing the need and said she simply wanted to help.

“I wanted to give back to the community through the school,” she explained. “As a food service director, we see a lot of things and this is the time of year where you give. I’m excited and proud.”

Fliers were sent home with elementary students and information was also posted in the high school building informing everyone of the collection. Morrissey said this year’s event was expanded to include socks and she hoped to beat last year’s total of 111 pair of mittens, but the first day started successfully with nearly a third of that amount donated. All of the items will be given to a local charity.

“I thought if we did well with the mittens, maybe we can do well with the other things,” she added. “I appreciate all of the donations. I hope we beat the numbers and surpass the 111 pair. I want to see over 111 donations.”

Mitten Tree Day was created by schoolteachers as a fun Christmastime activity and styled after a children’s book of the same name while National Sock Day denotes the rarest of all lasting unities–the marriage of matched socks–and is dedicated to highlighting socks that manage to stay together.