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Bus 52 Presents: Hannah's Socks

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Published on Nov 12, 2012

When then four-year old Hannah Turner was volunteering with her mom at a local homeless shelter in Toledo, Ohio, during Thanksgiving 2004, she did something that would make any parent proud. Seeing a homeless man was wearing no socks under his tattered shoes, she promptly sat down and started removing her own socks to give to him.

Hannah explains, "I thought he was going to be cold ... I was thinking that I could give him my socks." In response to this touching moment, Hannah's mother, Doris, suggested they go and buy some new socks for those in the shelter.

"Then we went to the store and we got socks and then we gave them to the homeless people," says Hannah. Then bought 100 pairs of socks that day and donated them to everyone in the shelter.

Thinking that they had done a good deed for the year, and certainly raised a very thoughtful daughter, the Turners went about life as usual. Vic Turner, Hannah's father and Senior Vice-President of Hannah's Socks, says that, "We just thought, 'we did our good deed, our kids learnt a good lesson, we're happy with that'."

That was until the next year when Hannah and her mother were once again volunteering at Thanksgiving in the Cherry Street Mission.

This time, "We got some friends involved, some family members," says Vic, "and we bought more socks and gave them to Cherry Street Mission and thought, 'what a very touching thing to do, what a generous, kind daughter we have'."

The news of a small girl and her family who were giving out free socks spread quickly throughout the shelters and nonprofit organizations in Toledo, and the Turners began to receive phone calls asking if they had more socks to donate.

Vic explains that, "It just became sort of a grassroots thing that we decided we couldn't do it financially just on our own. We couldn't just keep buying hundreds of pairs of socks at a time and giving them to various shelters in the Toledo area ... so we ended up starting a charity."

In 2007, Hannah's Socks became a registered nonprofit and they started by slowly raising money to cover their administrative costs and collecting socks.

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