By: Tina Cook
This past February after a long week of work, I was glad to plop into my easy chair to relax in front of the tube. I’m a fan of shows that allow me to do things like scroll the internet, answer emails, miscellaneous paperwork, or study for my upcoming certification exam. Shark Tank fits nicely into that category. I became intrigued and began jotting down information when a sock company was looking for a SHARK to invest in their unique philanthropic tagline: One pair purchased, one pair donated. That resonated with my never-ending desire to expand the Family Resource Center’s reach in our community, and I wanted in on it!
The following Monday, I pulled out my list of scribbles that I most always end up with over any weekend; evidence of my on-going hopes and dreams to bring a vision I hold in my heart into reality. I felt pretty good about emailing that request. Bombas founders Randy Goldberg and David Heath had gone into the tank seeking $200,000 for a 5% stake in their company. They left with a deal from Daymond John who was getting 17.5% for financing their inventory; not too shabby!
Honestly, I was compelled to ask for these socks on behalf of my fellow residents. As a woman who has experienced tough times and homelessness, I know the importance of shoes and socks from a different perspective. I can assure you that folks who spend time in a homeless or near-homeless state count their shoes as priceless treasures. I dare say that many would fight you if you tried to take them away. Furthermore, it is a statistical fact that socks are the most requested item at homeless shelters! I wanted to do something to provide that #1 request in my hometown. It also felt good to put the philosophy that FRC tries to instill in our clients to work in my own professional life. We encourage clients to stop relying on the same friends, family, and local organizations to fund their lives, and this sock endeavor was allowing me to reach past the normal network of generous donors. It was empowering to seek items that will help residents outside our own borders and pockets.
When I received word 8 months later that FRC was receiving a shipment of 250 Bombas socks, I did the ultimate goofy happy dance. You see, in spite of all the many blessings…all the provision…all the evidence that God is pleased with the good works being done in local lives, it still overwhelms me to see the hardcore evidence each and every time! Hopefully, this is also evidence that genuineness has taken root inside my own heart…an essential shift from entitlement to gratitude.
Athens-Limestone County will have lots of happy feet sporting nice, warm, new socks. They will be available in our Shepherd’s Closet donation area on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9 to 11:30. I will also include one pair for each teen enrolled in our 4th Annual Teen Christmas Program*; every parent who comes for a class in that program will get a pair too. That leaves 150 pair of socks for other residents…well, actually only 149 since I had to make sure they were satisfactory! You can believe me when I tell you: BOMBAS ARE THE BOMB!!
(*To donate to the Teen Christmas Program, please contact me by December 1st at email@example.com)
By: Tina Cook
Director, Athens-Limestone County Family Resource Center