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Socks for the Homeless

Shannon's Anniversary Project

The very first project & the project that inspired the creation of Mychal's Message.

2002 - ongoing

Mychal's Message is collecting socks for men and women in need. Donate now, or read
the story.

Project Description

2021 marks not only the 20th anniversary of 9/11, but it also marks the 30th anniversary of founder, Shannon (Hickey) Lapp’s liver transplant—a living donor liver transplant that was the 17th of its kind in the US and one that saved her life.  When asked about an anniversary project for this year, Shannon did not hesitate—”Socks for the Homeless was the first project of Mychal’s Message,” she said, “and it seems only fitting to repeat that project this year.”

On Shannon’s transplant anniversary in 2002, the family was still mourning the loss of Father Mychal Judge who died just months earlier on September 11, 2001.  So, in early 2002, Shannon approached her parents with an idea.  “Instead of presents for me this year,” Shannon said, “how about if I ask my friends to bring socks for the homeless instead?”  Shannon loved socks.  She had a drawer full of them.  So, the idea to collect them was not a surprise to her family, but the idea to give them away to the homeless astonished them.  It was a way for the family to celebrate Shannon’s life while remembering the life of Father Mychal, which had a profound effect on, among others, the homeless and poor.

Shannon’s parents sent out a letter to their family and friends announcing Shannon’s desire to collect socks for the homeless.  “Our daughter Shannon will celebrate her transplant anniversary on January 29th,” they wrote,  “She will be celebrating with some of her friends and has asked that in lieu of gifts, they each bring a new pair of socks for a homeless man or woman.”  They included the Peace Prayer which is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi and a request.  “Would you please consider sending a new pair of socks to Shannon?”

1,500 pair of socks later, the family had discovered a way to keep the memory and the message of Father Mychal Judge alive in their hearts and the hearts of others.  They attached his prayer to each pair of socks, and as those socks were distributed on the Breadline of St. Francis of Assisi Church in February of 2002, the importance of that prayer, that message—Mychal’s Message—was clear.  The men and women who received those socks were as interested in the prayer card—affixed to each pair—as they were in the socks.  Mychal’s Message had begun … with a child’s simple idea to collect socks for the homeless.  Today, almost twenty years later, that child is now a grown woman with children of her own.  So, in this 20th year of encountering the homeless and poor while restoring dignity with love, Mychal’s Message has decided that “Socks for the Homeless” will join the list of ongoing projects.  Socks will be accepted all year round because the need for them far outweighs the number of socks we could ever collect.

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:

Mychal's Message
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.

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