Short socks, long socks, colorful socks and plain socks are going a long way in helping needy children.
Sullivan Middle School seventh graders are selling socks this month to raise money for children who need an above-the-knee prosthetic leg, said Rebecca Shackleford, International Baccalaureate program coordinator for Sullivan.
Sullivan is partnering with We Help Two, an organization that provides the socks and hosts the fundraisers online.
We Help Two works with schools to raise funds for prosthetic legs for people who cannot afford them, said founder Trevor Bergman. He said a prosthetic leg in the United States can cost from $2,500 to $80,000.
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Last year, We Help Two donated 166 prosthetic legs, Bergman said.
Sullivan’s fundraiser was designed and implemented by students in Sullivan’s Soar to Service program, Shackleford said.
“We look at making a global impact and a local impact and teaching our kids to have a voice and be change makers,” she said.
As of Thursday, the middle school students had surpassed their goal of selling 80 packs of socks, the cost of providing one above-the-knee prosthetic, Shackleford said. They hope to double their sales to 160 packs by March 31 and provide two prosthetics.
“We are excited about how our school community has come together to purchase these socks for us as well as the city of Rock Hill,” said Tricia Crenshaw, seventh grade teacher. “People that have nothing to do with Sullivan are hearing about it and want to be a part of this.”
The students also read “The Running Dream” as part of the project. The book tells the story of a student-athlete who loses her leg in a bus accident, Shackleford said.
“They have been reading that story and connecting with that student,” she said. “Our kids just jumped on it.”
Cameron Kellenberger, 12-year-old seventh-grader, said the project hits home for her. Kellenberger said her uncle is in a wheelchair and can no longer walk.
“So helping somebody else walk is a big deal to me,” she said.
Bergman said his organization partners with LegWorks, a New York based prosthetic developer, to provide low-cost, high quality prosthetic legs to those in need. We Help Two also works with clinics to identify people who need prosthetics who cannot afford them. After a donation is final, We Help Two sends a photo and information about the recipient to the schools.
The socks also are helping people in need in Rock Hill.
For every pack of socks the students sell, they will receive a pair of thermal socks to donate in the local community, Shackleford said. Sullivan’s sixth graders will include the thermal socks in Bags of Hope they are creating for The Haven Men’s Shelter in Rock Hill. The bags also include personal items and a note from the students.
“It’s been such a unifier for our staff, for our students and for our community,” Shackleford said.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082