More than 30,000 southern Nevadans, including families with children and people of all ages, will experience homelessness at some point this year. Charlene (Char) and her mother Eileen started a sock drive for the homeless in southern Nevada in 1992 and quickly learned that a simple pair of socks made a huge difference for individuals in terms of comfort, health, and safety. From 1992 to 2002, their family collected and distributed 100 pairs of socks annually.
Since Eileen’s death in 2002, Char has grown the family project into a highly successful valley-wide effort, growing to over 2,000 sock donations each year. Char secured partnerships and works closely with organizations such as Three Square Food Bank and MGM Resorts International. She garnered buy-in from her congregation at Advent United Methodist Church and spread the message, collecting over 1,000 socks donations each year from southern Nevada’s faith-based community. Char started a blanket drive to collect comforters, sleeping bags and pillows to help families transitioning to permanent housing when she found that many families move into apartments with nothing more the clothes on their backs.
Her family legacy spread beyond Nevada to Virginia, where Char’s son brought this humble family project to the community where he now lives.