Socks for the Homeless
Shannon's Anniversary Project
through April 2021
Mychal’s Message began with one pair of socks and a 12-year old’s idea to collect them in lieu of gifts as she celebrated the anniversary of her liver transplant in 2002. As the socks were distributed to the homeless that cold February day, it was a man, with a little round face, who leaned in to ask, “You don’t happen to have any underwear, do you?” Blessed Bloomers was born. One pair of socks had rippling effects.
The simple work of one Franciscan has also had rippling effects. Brother Xavier collected tin cans and metal scraps to sell for cash. He could be found stripping wires for copper or hammering down an old air conditioner. He’d use the money to buy bus and train tokens to give to the guests at Saint Francis Inn in Philadelphia. They could use them to get to important appointments or see family members. He referred to himself and his many guest helpers as Sanford & Sons. Brother Xavier “demonstrated a simple faith and a down to earth spirituality with which he would engage a guest, comforting them through their many rough times, consoling them, and giving them courage and hope to face the future. His simple faith and joy inspired so many.” (The Pilgrim, Volume 48, Issue 10, April 2017)
After serving St. Francis Inn for 36 years, Brother Xavier had a stroke and spent time in a hospital, a rehab and finally in the Franciscan nursing facility in New Jersey. “He was such a big part of St. Francis Inn with his spirit, his laughter, his childlike faith and his love of the poor that he will be terribly missed,” wrote a member of the staff at St. Francis Inn in The Pilgrim, “But his spirit will be here in a big way. The relationships he formed, the people he helped, the guests that he brought closer to God by his words and example will be with us for a long time.”
And so, we dedicate this—our seventeenth annual Blessed Bloomers collection—to Brother Xavier. Mychal’s Message won’t be collecting tin cans or copper wire but will be helping the poor in a manner that Brother Xavier would love by purchasing new T-shirts, socks and underwear for the men and women who need them most.
How You Can Help
Your tax-deductible donation of ANY AMOUNT will allow us to provide new socks to a man, woman or child in need.
You can also donate new socks directly to Mychal’s Message. PLEASE NOTE: If you are sending donated items via UPS, FEDEX or from Amazon, please contact us for a street address.
Donations by check should be mailed to:
P.O. Box 6404
Lancaster, PA 17607
Online donations are accepted through Network for Good.
Please click the button below and specify "Socks for the Homeless" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.