Michael Martire, a 17-year-old youth from Pelham Bay, collected 2,127 pairs of socks from several local community resources which he in turn donated to the borough intake center for homeless families on Thursday, April 30.
Martire collected the socks as part of a junior-year high school service project for Iona Prep, with much of the sock haul coming from his former elementary school, Villa Maria Academy, as well as Our Lady of Assumption parish and Calvary Hospital, he said.
“I decided to do a sock drive because it is the most requested item at homeless shelters, and also the least donated,” said Martire.
Martire said that he called on his extended family to spread the word about his sock collection.
At his school, he raffled off some Duke University logo athletics socks during ‘March Madness’ over the public address system to encourage his classmates to donate.
All of this hard work culminated in a visit to the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing Office intake center, located in Melrose, where he donated the treasure trove of footwear.
At the PATH center, Martire said that he met with leadership and got to see some of the facility.
“It certainly was an eye opening experience,” said Martire.
A NYC Department of Homeless Services spokesperson, Arianna Fishman, stated that Martire is one of many community members showing their compassion and dedicating time and talent to helping their neighbors get back on their feet.
“Homelessness is a citywide challenge requiring a citywide solution, and we encourage communities across the five boroughs to follow this young leader’s example and join us in supporting families and adults experiencing homelessness, by volunteering or donating, just like Mr. Martire,” said the DHS spokeswoman.