INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Independence, Missouri, based nonprofit Community Services League received 1.7 million pairs of free socks from Bombas. Now the organization is asking other groups to help it distribute the socks to those in need.
Clothing company Bombas gives one pair of socks away for every pair customers purchase. An impact report released this month shows that, since 2013, Bombas has donated 75 million pieces of clothing across the country.
Community Services League received 5,000 pairs of socks in 2018, 200,000 in 2019, and 500,000 in 2020. The nonprofit isn’t quite sure how Bombas decided to donate 1.7 million pairs this year.
“We almost fell out of our chairs [in 2018]. We thought, ‘What will we ever do with 5,000 pairs of socks?’ Here we are five or six years later, and we have more than 5,000 boxes of socks,” CSL President and CEO Doug Cowan said.
In years past, CSL has worked with about 150 partners to distribute socks around the metropolitan area. Partners include schools, food pantries, homeless shelters, churches, prisons, military organization, veterans groups and more. This year, CSL has enough socks to go around. It’s created a page on its website where groups can find more information on how to partner with CSL to acquire and donate socks. CSL is willing to work with out of state partners the region.
Cowan said he feels a responsibility to get the socks to people who truly need them.
“One of the things that fascinated me was how many caring hands touched these socks along the way for them to get there,” he said. “From the people who made them — they’re made overseas — then shipped all the way to the United States, then transported via rail, and then transported via truck.”
Visit CLS's website to learn more about becoming a sock partner.
CSL says Bombas has already begun conversations about another donation in 2023.