Socks of Love: One woman’s mission leads to warm socks for nursing home residents

Published 1:51 pm Friday, March 1, 2024

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Minister, First Christian Church

All the analogies can be a bit overwhelming at times. We’ve heard them all: “The longest journey starts with one step,” “A flood starts with one drop of water.” The underlying idea is that something big starts from something small.

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When considering the actions we take to serve God and others in our lives, it is essential to recognize that while we need to start and plan, allowing God and the Holy Spirit to lead can yield amazing results if we simply listen. A week ago, a lady from our church called me sounding breathless with excitement. She exclaimed, “Preacher, we just have to do this! I believe this is something I’ve got to do, but I need the church’s help.”

Initially, my mind, in its busy state, thought, “oh no, not another clothes or food or macaroni drive.” However, Marcella Shoun clarified, “God is just telling me to do this, Preacher.” She went on to explain her experience as a CNA in a local nursing home and how she saw many residents in need of foot care and proper socks.

I promised to discuss it further with her on Sunday. Little did I know that God was guiding her. In subsequent calls, Marcella shared how she had been inspired by a local TV show featuring a “Socks of Love” campaign in coordination with Tetrick Funeral Home and Tetrick Funeral Services and many of the area hospice social workers. It dawned on me that God was her partner, urging her to act. Her breathlessness was not from running upstairs; it was the excitement of her conviction that God wanted her to lead this initiative for our church.

I realized that I was in the way. She didn’t need my permission. When God is driving and guiding, no mere preacher can obstruct the way. At the end of the Sunday service, I approached her in the pew with a microphone, and she stood up, saying, “God had told me to do this,” then humbly added, “I still need my church’s help.”

The result was she collected 541 pairs of socks in less than a month! On Thursday, Feb. 29, Marcella Shoun with Laura Graham from Tetrick Funeral Homes delivered the socks to Signature HealthCARE in Elizabethton.

Debbie Street, the facility administrator, and Ms. Hicks, a resident, received the socks with smiles and many thanks. The following day the socks were to be taken room to room on a cart for each resident to choose the pair of socks of his/her choice for a surprise. Thank God that one person and God still make a majority!

(Editor’s Note: The fundraiser sponsored by Tetrick Funeral Services and hospices in the area brought in over 1,000 pairs of socks for nursing home residents, said Laura Graham, Community Outreach Director for Tetrick. “The socks are still coming in,” said Laura (although the drive was over in mid-February).