The Sock Philanthropist of American Academy
By Steve Whitlock; photos courtesy of the White family
Corey White, age 12 and in seventh grade at American Academy (AA), has made a significant difference to the homeless population in Colorado.
His parents, Jason and Noelle White, tell how it started. “Corey became passionate about the need for socks in second grade upon hearing that there are 45,000 homeless children in Colorado and their number one clothing need is socks. He came home telling us about this with big eyes asking if we ‘could believe it?’ That year we donated 100 pairs of new socks to the sock drive.”
Corey has continued to increase his efforts to assist. In third grade, he made a collection box to get his fellow classmates excited about filling the box. The following year, he made collection boxes for his classroom, the school lobby, as well as signs for the school hallways. He was named a Junior Ambassador for the Sock-It-To-Em campaign for his leadership efforts. In addition, family and friends donated 350 pairs of socks in 2019, and a whopping 1,004 pairs in 2020. His parents added, “To our surprise, a total of 2,247 pairs were donated in 2021. Many were dropped off at our home in the spirit of social distancing and other monetary donations came in that were used to purchase new pairs of socks.”
In addition to Corey’s contributions, AA added an additional 2,800 pairs of socks, bringing the grand total to more than 5,000 pairs to the school’s yearly campaign.
When asked what prompted him to get involved, Corey shared, “Someone came to our school to talk about the homeless community and when I got picked up from carpool my mom asked, ‘Tell me three things you learned today.’ And I told her some of the facts that the speaker had said. For example, that there are homeless people in Colorado. And how it made me upset.” Corey’s response wasn’t merely emotional; it translated to action.
He tells of what he discovered in this process, “I’ve learned that people are a lot more caring and passionate than you think. I’ve had people I’ve never met donate $100. They don’t know me or my family but they saw a video that inspired them and they decided to be passionate.”
When asked how this has affected him Corey says, “You definitely feel very good when you donate. The looks on people’s faces when they hear that number or see how many bags of socks, makes me feel really good.”
Corey’s mom added, “He had always made sure he could make every single dollar donation count; it was an unforgettable experience to see him light up each day checking the sock basket on our porch or asking if any cash donations were made, often silently doing the math to gauge the progress toward the goal.”
When asked how he would like to encourage other people, Corey said, “Anybody can do something like this – something so simple that people take for granted like socks, could mean the world for somebody.” This is a young man who not only believes it; he does it. To donate visit sockittoemsockcampaign.org.