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  • Writer's pictureTenesha Green

Damon Jones' S.O.C.K.S Movement Distributes Over 40,000 Socks To Help The Homeless

Updated: Feb 26

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — From a young age, the need for helping others has always been on the radar of Damon Jones. Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Prince George’s County, Jones began service as a volunteer in middle school.

Wintertime in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area can be cold, windy, and wet. Temperatures get as low as ten degrees in late January, wind gusts are almost six miles per hour, and snowfall is inevitable. In the winter of 2013-2014 Jones was in the process of trying to found his school and wasn’t thinking much about the winter weather in the D.C. metro area.

His then girlfriend attended Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. Jones, a very spiritual person but not very religious person, decided since they were both going to church, he ought to contribute to the body of it somehow.

His interest in volunteering was still near and dear and still he had trouble trying to find opportunities to volunteer with the church at first. However, an opportunity arose when Alfred Street began turning the church into a homeless shelter that winter. One evening, Jones was assigned to stay with the gentlemen that had came to seek warmth that night.

“To my surprise, I heard them talk a lot about socks,” Jones said. “How to keep socks dry, where to keep their socks dry, how painful it is if they don’t have socks.They talked more about socks than they did money, food, shelter, women, and transportation.”

The next morning he woke up laying on his hard green cot, one that reminded him of the one’s in the school nurse’s office.

“I will never forget this moment,” Jones said. “I woke up in the morning, and it sounds so crazy every time it comes out of my mouth, but I literally saw the words in the lights above me… So Others Can Keep Striding.” To say it was an unexpected message is to say the least.

After the realization that those words were an acronym for the word S.O.C.K.S, Jones turned his focus back to founding his own school and forgot about it until nine months later.

“I was at the point where I had one week before the bank was coming to put me out of the house,” Jones said. “I’m standing in my house and I just said a prayer.”

He heard a firm commanding voice remind him of the S.O.C.K.S acronym. This led him to pick up the phone and call people he knew -- asking for socks. To his surprise they all coincidentally had socks that were new or gently used that they did not want anymore and invited him to come and get them.

Jones’ good fortune did not stop there. The next day he received a call from an old friend he once worked with letting him know about a job opening at a charter school. He gave Jones the contact information of the person to speak to and as it would turn out, Jones knew the woman from college.

Jones received an offer letter the next day. He happily forwarded that offer letter to the bank. Within 72 hours, Jones’ situation turned around for the better.

“The beautiful irony around S.O.C.K.S is that the start of it was in a homeless shelter,” Jones said. “The double irony is that me saying yes to doing this kept me from being without a home myself.”

Jones makes it very clear that S.O.C.K.S is not an organization that was created to make you feel good. His reasoning is much bigger than that.

“My number one objective is to please the most high and repay him,” Jones said. “He was so kind to me to keep my home. He was also so gracious to me to clearly give me this vision to steward over and help grow.”

Jones does not take any credit for creating the name or anything else. He just believes that he was in the right place at the right time and is glad that he was.

S.O.C.K.S. has grown quickly over the five years it has been in existence. What began as Jones handing socks out to people on the street, has turned into a non profit organization that collects and dispenses both new socks and hygiene products. S.O.C.K.S. Movement has distributed over 40,000 pairs of socks in eight different states. They have an array of volunteers aged five and all the way into their 60’s.

The core mission of S.O.C.K.S. and the driving force behind the movement thus far: “To demonstrate love towards people facing homelessness by providing new socks and other essential items through direct outreach.”

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