Pointe Claire paramedic's sock collection for the homeless forges ahead despite pandemic
A Pointe Claire paramedic is pressing on with his annual campaign collecting socks for the homeless despite the pandemic.
"I was never considering not doing it," said Barry Christensen, a 39-veteran with Urgences Santé.
Christensen said he was just uncertain about how COVID would affect his sixth annual Montreal Sock It To Me campaign for St. Michael's Mission, but people are being generous.
"It's something positive that people can get involved with and feel good about amongst this chaos of our friend 19," said Christensen in an interview with CJAD 800.
Christensen said while he's shooting for last year's goal of 3000 socks, it may top what he collected last year - over 5800 socks plus other clothing and cash donations.
"Looks like it's going to be even better than last year what's coming in," said Christensen.
"I think part of success this year is due to the fact that everybody's at home and on their computers that I'm able to reach more people."
Christensen said it was his experience on the ground that highlighted the need for warm socks.
"People forget that socks have that need - feet that get wet in the winter and stay wet for days end up with sores and infections," said Christensen, "It's a very basic need."
Christensen will be rebranding his campaign which will be renamed Stepping Up - making it year-round and expanding to fundraising and other needs.
"Stepping up means a lot on both sides - whether it's the public stepping up to help or it's a homeless person stepping up and getting out of the street."