ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – United Supermarkets has donated 1,000 pairs of socks to the Abilene Salvation Army through their “Pears for Pairs” drive.
Every time someone bought a Rainier Fruit pear, part of the proceeds went to putting socks on the feet of homeless people in Abilene.
Cole Higgins joined the Salvation Army’s 10-step program in September, but before, he was homeless.
“Living day by day, asking for money, going by Walmart panhandling, or anything, it just wasn’t working,” said Higgins.
The money he could get his hands on, fueled his addiction.
“I’ve been struggling with drugs for the last 8 years and I’m only 24,” said Higgins.
Higgins would walk about 5 miles a day.
“I would wear my soles out to a point that my feet would be blistered,” said Higgins.
Walking with cold feet in the rain and snow is a feeling 10-step program member Shermaine Straw knows all too well.
“Sometimes I didn’t have socks on, sometimes it’s just plain shoes, no socks and it’s just cold,” said Straw.
While socks can be a fashion statement for some, for the homeless, it’s essential for living outside.
“A fresh pair of socks is warming up to a blanket,” said Higgins.
And United recognizes this need.
“Being able to get these socks to the Salvation Army is a great opportunity for United Supermarkets and our company to take care of that and provide that for community,” said Timothy Farr, store director.
“It’s the best thing they could have given us,” said Higgins.
Higgins encourages people to donate food or clothes rather that cash that could potentially pay for an addiction.
While the United donation drive is over, you can still donate socks and other personal care items to the Salvation Army.