11-year-old Philly boy collects socks for homeless: Here's how you can help

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Inside a living room taken over by socks, 11-year-old Declan Cassidy from Northeast Philadelphia is on a mission to make sure the homeless keep warm as temperatures begin to drop.

"It's nice to just give people stuff because in the winter they could get cold and they might need socks," Declan said.

This is now the sixth grader's second annual sock drive. The socks help men, women and children at three local shelters: Women Against Abuse, St. Francis Inn and Never Surrender Hope.

For Declan, it's personal. His 26-year-old sister Amber battles addiction.

"Me and my mom do a lot of volunteering and my sister has an addiction problem and we wanted to help people like her," Declan said.

"It feels good to help and to give to other people that are suffering from what my daughter suffers from. Just being able to reach out and help someone else feels good because you can't always help your own child," said Declan's mother, Jennifer Cassidy.

Last year, Declan collected more than 1,000 pairs of socks. This year, he intends to double that number. Those from Never Surrender Hope say this effort means a lot especially during the pandemic with many fundraisers having to be postponed.

"The socks are the number one thing needed for the homeless, so Declan for him to take his time for a kid to take time away from playing to and doing their own thing to help us is a very heartfelt thing, we're very appreciative of," said Valerie Felici from Never Surrender Hope.

And for Declan, he's learning early on what it means to give back, and those on the receiving end are grateful.

"They sent me notes and the mail and stuff like every week for like three weeks," Declan said.

Declan is collecting socks from now through December and will drop them off before the holidays. People can mail socks to the Cassidy Home: 2841 Norcom Court, Philadelphia, PA 19154.
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