Southampton PA January 9 2016 — On a crisp Saturday night in January the New Year was off to a rocking start at The Beatles New Year Party and Benefit for The Joy of Sox, a Philadelphia-area based 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of giving joy to the homeless by giving them new socks. Guests sang along to Beatles tunes, munched on party fare and danced the night away to the music of area musicians and bands including Barleyjuice, Kyf Brewer, The Karmic Repair Company and The Blue Wave Ramblers.
Shown left to right: Musicians David Haneman, Billy Dominick, Eric McQuone Worthington, Graham Ford and Kyf Brewer
Socks can be more important than food, because food is not hard to get but it seems to be harder to get socks. ~ Kiwi, a homeless person
Tom Costello Jr., CEO of The Joy of Sox explained, “I used to be really homelessphobic, and finally my wife convinced me to join her at a shelter and I handed out socks at the end of the meal. I would say, ‘Merry Christmas, God Bless You’ and drop a pair of socks into their bag as they left. A lady walked up to me. She didn’t make eye contact. I dropped socks into her plastic bag and said, ‘Merry Christmas, God Bless You.’ She said nothing and walked on. As I was waiting for the next guest she turned to me and said, ‘Can I please have another pair for a friend?’ She looked me right in the eye and said, ‘You know, no one has ever given me a pair of socks before.’ And then she stared to cry. And I started to cry. She reached out to hug me. And up to that point I never touched a homeless person before. So I hugged her back. That was my epiphany moment. I knew from that moment on that I had to be the sock person.” It was from that epiphany moment that The Joy of Sox came into being.
Nancy Bragin of Philadelphia homeless nonprofit Tuesday Afternoon Philly Outreach hosted the Benefit at her home in Southampton, Bucks County PA. “The Beatles are the best band in the history of music as far as I’m concerned” she said. “And I know how important socks are from my outreach work with homeless shelters; they’re the number one requested item. A night of Beatles music cumulating in the collection of a mountain of new socks for the homeless – well, it doesn’t get better than that.”
A splendid time was had by all.
More information on The Joy of Sox can be found on their website the joyofsox.org. Tuesday Afternoon Philly Outreach website: tuesdayafternoonphillyoutreach.org.
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February 12th 2015 Coldest Night of the Year – Code Blue in Philly with 6000 homeless on the streets. Call 215-232-1984 if you see a homeless person in need of help – many emergency emergency shelters have been open and transportation is available.
In Bucks County the Homeless Hotline is 215-550-3578 staffed by the Bucks County Coalition to Shelter & Support the Homeless. Transportation is available and shelter locations listed on their website: co2ssh.org.
UESF Vet Outreach provides immediate assistance to veterans that are homeless or struggling to survive. Call the Vet Hotline at 215-814-6888 if you know of someone who served and is in need of help.
Bring pets inside. If you see an animal out in the cold call the Philly ACT Hotline at 267-385-3800. A new Philadelphia ordinance calls for fines of up to $500 for pet owners who leave their animals out in the cold.
In this frigid weather it’s important to feed the critters outside, water too.
Tuesday Afternoon Philly Outreach has emergency coats, warm clothing and food for the homeless. Volunteers are welcome to help with transportation and distribution. TAPO can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You
To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy
Tuesday Afternoon Philly Outreach gives out food & clothing every Tuesday afternoon 2:30 PM at 18th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City Philadelphia (in front of the Free Library) as long as supplies last. Donations are greatly needed and can be made through credit card or PayPal at https://tuesdayafternoonphillyoutreach.org/donations/ You can donate there as well to the UESF Homeless Vet Project.
Gloria In Excelsis Deo
A gentle giant passed this weekend. We would like to honor the life of Mr. Matthew Saad Muhammad, famed boxer and homelessness advocate.
Matthew first became involved with One Step Away when he found himself in the Ridge Avenue Shelter in 2010. After overcoming homelessness for the second time in his life, he became an advocate for our Knock Out Homelessness campaign. Although he is no longer with us, his spirit will live on, and we will never forget his contributions to the sport of boxing and the homeless community.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends. Matthew’s family will be having a private service, with plans for a larger memorial to accommodate his many fans and friends across the country still being made.
He served well. May his spirit soar.
Read more about Matthew Saad Muhammad’s story of redemption both in and out of the ring –
Kind of says it all.
photo: Blue Street Journal