“We don’t get many new socks, so we were very much in need of them,” said Nicole Friedhoff, Assistant Director of the Geneseo-Atkinson Food Pantry. “There is a big need for a lot of items right now, and this really helps our cause.”

With colder weather on the way, families are beginning to dig through their closets for warmer clothing.

However, not all families have everything they need, and when it comes to what we wear, socks are among the least donated items.

Christy Sancken, a second-grade teacher at Millikin Elementary School, took note of this a few years ago and introduced Socktober, a sock drive that takes place during the month of October, to her students.

An initiative created by YouTube personality Kid President, Socktober is now in its fifth year at Millikin. While this year the goal was 300 pairs, students collected 721 pairs that were donated to the Geneseo-Atkinson Food Pantry on Friday.


Students and teachers at Millikin gathered 721 pairs of socks during its fifth annual Socktober, a month-long sock drive that benefits the Geneseo-Atkinson Food Pantry.

“Throughout the month, whenever students would walk by the collection box and signage, they’d see the numbers on the rise and get excited,” said Mrs. Sancken. “They really bought into it and the socks kept coming.”

The sock drive also presented an opportunity for teaching and learning.

“My class helped count the socks and I incorporated that into math lessons with counting by tens and adding big numbers,” Mrs. Sancken explained. “It was very rewarding to see us hit our goal and then far surpass it.”

Nicole Friedhoff, Assistant Director for the Geneseo-Atkinson Food Pantry, was equally appreciative and impressed by the effort.

“I’m amazed at the generosity of the kids and families; it’s overwhelming,” stated Nicole Friedhoff, Assistant Director of the Geneseo-Atkinson Food Pantry. “Whenever we need something, our community comes through for us.”

Mrs. Sancken shared that sentiment and added, “It’s a testament to the families in our area and their willingness to help. It’s an easy thing to do, and it can really make a difference.

“Our district’s motto is to teach, learn and care,” Mrs. Sancken continued. “We didn’t want to put any pressure on the students or families by making it a contest. Not everyone is able to donate. We focused on a simple message—that the socks are needed, and that giving feels good.”