Dec. 15, 2021 - Last year, as the world entered a dark season of the ongoing global pandemic, Crestron's Rosanne Lang and Jessica van Horn had an idea: An update to their unique giving partnership with the charitable organization called "Bombas." For the uninitiated, Bombas is an apparel company that sells socks (along with other under garments), and for every item that's purchased, Bombas donates its equivalent to a homeless shelter. If you buy a pair of socks from Bombas, you've effectively given a pair to someone in need. According to the company's website, they've "donated more than 50 million items to more than 3,500 community organizations to date."
"In 2020, we worked with Bombas to do something that would help as many folks as we could," says Lang. "Simply put, both Crestron and Bombas donated socks during the holiday season." While Bombas continued their outreach to the homeless, Crestron's purchases went to frontline healthcare workers. COVID made late 2020 especially tough for those in that particular field, as you'll recall, and the donations were especially welcome around this time of year.
The socks that are given to the homeless have antimicrobial properties and feature reinforced seams for longer life (and less "fast-fashion" waste) — features critical for those who can't put on a fresh pair every morning. "Our sock donations to healthcare heroes and homeless shelters are the equivalent of giving hugs," Lang says. "This gesture of comfort is a wonderful way to support our local communities."
Thoughtful enough, it turns out, that Crestron felt it bore repeating in 2021 — and once again, footwear's going out to facilities across North America.
Feedback from Regional Offices
As Van Horn noted after the first year of the campaign, "We are so incredibly grateful for all of the health workers and first responders on the frontlines working around the clock to safeguard our communities and ensure we get the best care possible." Those healthcare organizations receiving socks are selected by Crestron's HQ and regional office staff.
The program's a hit with the Crestron community. Messages from around the U.S. and Canada include the following:
This year, arrangements are being spearheaded with the help of Crestron's Toronto Office Manager, Carina Prueckel. "I'm very honored to be a part of this great holiday initiative, to help those in need and to say thank you to our front-line workers," she says.
Besides the thoughtful nature of socks as a holiday donation, it's an intuitive gift during this time of year. "Stockings," after all, "are hung by the chimney with care," every December in a tradition that traces its roots to the third century. The story goes that a generous gent by the name of Nicholas (who later gained sainthood) decided to help out a pair of impoverished women in his village. He tossed bags of gold into their open window, and one happened to land in a sock drying by the fire. (Damp hosiery has never been popular.)
Kidding aside, the donations are a welcome and useful item for the people manning the ICUs and ERs, and our fellow men and women who have found themselves without a fixed address. Prueckel adds, "I'd like to extend my gratitude to all Crestron employees who have reached out to hospitals and shelters in your area — a small gesture can really make a big difference."