Plum Rotary partners with Pittsburgh area charity to collect socks for the homeless

Michael DiVittorio, The Tribune-Review, Greensburg
·2 min read

Feb. 23—Plum Rotary partnered with a Pittsburgh nonprofit to procure new socks for the city's homeless population.

The borough's inaugural sock drive is slated for March 1 through April 5.

It is in support of Socks with a Mission (SWAM), a charity founded last February by Amy Wetterau and her daughter, Audrey, 11, both of Upper St. Clair.

Rotary President Mona Costanza said she was looking for a new way her club could help people when she came across SWAM.

"The sock drive is something closer to home, and it will benefit the shelters and soup kitchens," Costanza said. "I presented the idea to the club. Everybody loved the idea, and that's how we got there. We try to do several service projects a year."

New men's and women's socks of all shapes and sizes are being sought.

SWAM recently sent out 2,000 pairs of new socks. Plum Rotary hopes to replenish that inventory.

Wetterau said partnerships like the one with the rotary help keep donations in stock, especially in the winter of a pandemic.

"With covid, there is such an increased need for all kinds of necessities for people experiencing homelessness," she said. "We're constantly looking for donations just to keep our inventory up. We're really finding the need is out there right now. It's just a huge help."

The rotary has four donation sites in the Plum area and one in Murrysville. They are:

—Plum municipal building, 4575 New Texas Road.

—Holiday Park Shop 'n Save along Route 286.

—Penn Hills Shop 'n Save, 2820 Universal Road.

—Sampson Family YMCA, 2200 Golden Mile Hwy.

—S&T Bank, 4251 Old William Penn Hwy. in Murrysville.

Socks also will be collected at Plum's drive-thru Eggstravaganza on April 3 at the public works building, 2001 Old Mine Road.

Plum resident Adam Harris and his daughter, Nila, 3, were at the borough building giving an early donation Monday.

"It's good for the community that the municipality's reaching out to people in need around here and wherever else they need to reach out to," Harris said.

Wetterau said her daughter first thought of collecting socks in 2019 after an Elementary Student Leadership Academy class in which her Upper St. Clair teacher talked about kindness and his efforts helping the homeless.

Support began to build, and they were able to expand into a charity.

"It's just really taken off," Wetterau said. "We've just been running with it."

The family is in talks with the Bethel Park Police Department among other groups for more partnerships this year.

More information is available at sockswithamission.org.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@triblive.com or via Twitter .