Joseph Cox decided to collect socks and donate them to the homeless, as he wanted to find a small way he could improve their day.
“Everyone is a person who deserves to be happy and sometimes simple things like a smile, a chat and a pair of new socks can really brighten someone’s day.”
Joseph’s mum, Anna Cox, 39, said she wasn’t surprised at all when Joseph said he wanted to do something to help homeless people.
“He’s always been incredibly kind, generous and wants to help when he can,” she said.
Joseph started Socks For The Street in September 2017, when he did a callout for people to donate new socks at drop-off points around Edinburgh.
He publicised this through posters and word of mouth, and aimed to run the project for a few months.
Once he had received enough donations, Joseph and his mum started to hand out the socks to the homeless people on the streets in Edinburgh.
“They were really happy and thankful,” Joseph said. “One guy sniffed his socks and said he had not smelt new clothes in a long time. He was very happy.
“It’s really nice to be able to help.”
To help publicise the project further, Anna helped Joseph set up a Facebook page and said she now seems to have become his “media manager”.
“I mostly remind him to send emails/Facebook messages and drive around helping him drop socks off to projects around the city that are working with homeless people,” she said.
Joseph initially only intended for Socks For The Street to last a few months, but it is still ongoing.
“We were going to stop on 1 December but it got really cold,” said Joseph. “So we kept going and started collecting hats, scarves and sleeping bags too. It’s still going now.”
This has been made possible by the amount of people who have donated socks and other warming comforts to the cause.
“The kindness of people has been overwhelming and hugely unexpected,” said Anna. “Joseph set a target of 300 pairs of socks. So far we have distributed more than 1,500 pairs and he’s stopped counting underwear we’ve received.
“Other schools around Scotland have also taken the project on - and people from all over the world have sent donations - showing that kindness can be contagious.
“Sometimes people just need to be guided as to how easy it can be - it really can be something as small as a new pair of socks that can make all the difference.”
Everyone hates January. The post-Christmas comedown hits us hard, especially with 2017 being such a tough year. Kindness 31 is our antidote to that. Every day we’ll share a good news story about someone (or a group of people) and their act of kindness or how they helped others. If you want to get involved, email email@example.com. Alternatively if you’d like to nominate someone to be featured, fill in this form.