No. 70 – Socktober

Post by Emily Carisch

Imagine, for a moment, you’re missing one of your legs. Maybe you developed a severe infection from a wound or wandered onto a landmine left behind by your country’s civil war. Whatever the case, your leg had to be amputated in order to save your life. Now, if you’re lucky, you have an old set of crutches to help you get around. You can’t work easily, and if you don’t have family to support you, it’s not long before you end up on the streets, begging and hobbling from place to place in search of dinner and a place to sleep. This has become your life. Dirty, ragged and hopeless.

Okay. You can stop imagining now and escape this depressing scene. Lucky you, because hundreds of thousands of people can’t escape it. This is their reality. Our family saw this situation too often during our travels, especially in Cambodia, where a long war and an oppressive government left land mines strewn across the countryside. Every day we saw someone struggling to survive with a rickety cart or a pair of crutches patched together with scrap wood.

A few weeks after I started school here, I heard announcements and saw posters about joining the Student Council. I was brand new at Summit Middle School and didn’t know many people yet, but I found my way into an interview and was accepted as a Student Council member. Fast forward about a year, and now I’m in the 7th grade. I’ve been in Student Council for a year, made some amazing friends and had too many new, marvelous experiences to count. Then one day our faculty sponsor for Student Council slapped a new idea onto the table during one of our meetings. One that spoke to my heart.

Limbs International is an organization that works to create sustainable prosthetic legs for a low price and distribute them to impoverished countries around the world. Our team of students watched a video from the web site.

We learned about Socktober, an month-long event supporting LIMBS International, where school students sell socks. For every 72 packs sold, a sustainable prosthetic leg can be manufactured and sent to someone in the world who needs it. It’s like a school fundraiser, except instead of keeping the money we give it to a good cause, and instead of selling candy bars or magazines or cookie dough, we sell funky fashion for your feet. 

socktober socksStudent Council took up this project, and I volunteered to take on a leading role. I made our sales webpage, organized advertising and got to be on our local news channel to talk about our efforts. The council’s goal was to raise the funds to send legs to two people. We only had October to sell, and things weren’t looking too good at first. Then Limbs International extended the selling period and we rocketed past our goal, selling enough to buy more than two prosthetic limbs. 

Overall, it was a really fun, educational experience, and I loved knowing we were helping to change someone’s life. I highly recommend this fundraising event for all schools. We learned that the two people receiving limbs from our efforts were named Desta and Elijah. We worked hard on this project, and then got to see the direct impact it made in a specific individual’s life. Next October, you can be sure I’ll be hitting all of you up to buy socks again!

Emily socks


About the Author

My name is Emily. I'm thirteen years old and I like to read. I like to consider myself an author, although I have never finished a single book. When I am not doing anything that concerns a book or writing in general, I'm probably doing something with my sisters. My family traveled the world together for a year and a half, changing me forever. Now I'm a typical middle school kid, with a unique view of the world and my place in it.

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  1. PO Box 887
    Good for you, Emily,
    There was never a doubt that you and you sisters would assume leadership roles at your age appropriate levels. Socks are a wonderful fund-raiser; they are fun to wear, and you can be as silly or colorful as you want since, most of the time, nobody sees them. They can be your cheerful secret all day long. Please keep me in mind if you run the event again next year.

  2. Sounds like a great project. Will bring this up with our kids’ school. Emily, you’re on your way to being a great writer like your mom.

  3. Nicely written, Emily!! And we love our socks too! I’d love to see that video from the news sometime. This is surely a repeat project for you and for your school! Great!

  4. Emily, What a wonderful project. Let us know next year if you do the project again. It’s good to see your smiling face!

  5. Fantastic. My heart is full. My ambition for this project was to open the hearts of young people. Your enthusiasm and empathy for those in need is an asset to this world. I also loved this program when first introduced to it at an IB conference. I am so happy you were there to run with it.

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