McGregor Socks Gives Another 7,500 Pairs for Local Homeless

December 10, 2010 – Congregation Emanu-El’s social action group, Avodah, announced today that McGregor Socks (Toronto) has donated another 7,500 pairs of socks en route for homeless and poor people in the Capital Region.  This brings to 33,000 the total number of pairs of socks that McGregor Socks has donated to the Capital Region since 2005!

There are two opportunities for the media to cover this extraordinary commitment of a national company to people in Victoria who are homeless:
Volunteers from Avodah and Mayor Dean Fortin will make a short announcement at 2:30 pm about the socks to people attending the Our Place Christmas Party today at First Metropolitan United Church,  932 Balmoral Road.

The population groups served by the Access Health Centre are much more susceptible than the general population to foot-related diseases and ailments. On Monday, December 13 @ 2:30 pm, a nurse from the Cool Aid Community Health Centre (713 Johnson Street) will discuss the critical importance of healthy feet and quality socks for people without homes who are subject to the rain and cold and whom spend a great deal of their time standing.

The socks will be distributed to the following  social service providers, who will give them out to the people who need them most:  AIDS Vancouver Island, Out of the Rain Youth Night Shelter,  Burnside Gorge Community Association, James Bay Community project/Youth Clinic, Kiwanis Emergency Youth Shelter, Native Friendship Centre, Our Place, Pacifica Housing Service, PEERS, Rainbow Kitchen, REES Program, Rock Bay Landing, Single Parent Resource Centre, Cool Aid Health Clinic, Sandy Merriman Shelter, VARCS Mobile X Van, YM/YWCA Outreach and the Extreme Weather shelters.

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Michael Bloomfield, Avodah, Congregation Emanu-El, 250-380-3001,
Rick Hastings, McGregor Industries, 604-417-1226,
Irene Haigh-Gidora, Manager of Health Services, Cool Aid, 250-385-1466,


McGregor Socks is a subsidiary of McGregor Industries, Toronto.  McGregor was founded in 1928 by the Lipson family and today is still led by third-generation family members.  The companies’ major source of revenue is from developing and marketing better men’s and women’s socks.  The company distributes a wide range of products through an extensive international sales network, with 10,000 points of sale in over 30 countries.

Congregation Emanu-El, built in 1863, is Canada’s oldest synagogue in continuing use.  In 2003, Rabbi Harry Brechner created the Avodah social action group to turn Congregation Emanu-El’s beliefs into acts of loving kindness.  Avodah — working closely with social service agencies — has focused on serving its neighbours who are most in need in Victoria, particularly homeless youth and adults. In addition to the socks initiative, other activities include providing shelter and hot meals for the Out of the Rain youth night shelter, putting on monthly birthday parties at Our Place and supporting families at risk of homelessness through rent supplements.

Victoria Cool Aid Society provides primary health care services, supported housing, emergency shelter, mental health support and job placements to adults and youth who are marginalized.  Info:


A Few Socks and Health Facts

  • When you do not have a home, you spend much of your time standing in lines.  It is hard to keep your feet warm and dry and your feet suffer a lot of abuse.
  • Good clean socks help prevent both fungal infections and blisters.
  • Prevention of blisters prevents secondary foot infections that require antibiotic treatment.
  • A patient with a foot fungal infection is encouraged to change into clean socks frequently.
  • Good socks are more important for those who suffer with neuropathy in their feet, like diabetics, and those with AIDS neuropathy, as they have reduced sensation and cannot feel when they are developing sores and blisters.