she is using your kindness to keep the homeless warm this winter

Hundreds of pairs of socks donated by you to make a grandad’s birthday wish come true have been sent on another journey – this time to help keep Manchester’s homeless community warm this Christmas.

Michael Sullivan always said that if he were rich, the one thing he’d do is buy a pair of socks for every day of the year.

So for his 72nd birthday, his granddaughter Kelsey Baxendale decided to make that dream a reality .

At first, all she did was ask advice on Facebook of where to buy socks in bulk.

To her amazement she was inundated with donations, and soon had more than 400 pairs.

And she wasn’t the only one left gobsmacked by the kindness of strangers.

Michael, from Swinton in Salford, couldn’t believe his luck when he was confronted with hundreds of pairs of socks.

“I don’t need expensive presents or anything like that, just something with a bit of thought,” he told the M.E.N at the time.

Knowing he didn’t need (or have the space) to keep so many socks, Michael and Kelsey decided that once he had worn them once, they would wash them and donate them to the homeless, so that the act of kindness was passed on to those in need.

Some of them have been used to make special Christmas comfort packs, along with other essentials like toiletries, gloves and hats, which will be handed out to those living on the streets by city centre-based charity Barnabus.

Kelsey, 28, dropped the donations off on Wednesday.

She said: “I’ve made up some boxes, putting in things like hats, gloves, toiletries – and of course the socks.

“We had more than 400 pairs donated which was amazing.

“The rest of what I’ve bought and had donated Barnabus will keep and give out to people in need.

“His birthday was in January so he’s not got around to wearing all of them just yet. He’s kept a few pairs for his socks because we threw all of his old ones away.”

Kelsey said she was overwhelmed by the support she has received.

She added: “I started collecting after his birthday, a lot of people who donated socks originally wanted to donate more, and money from the first article was used to buy gloves and shower gels.

“As well as that we collected things like menstrual cups, moisturisers, tooth brushes and toothpaste, shampoos, wipes and face cloths.

“Helping the homeless is something I’ve always wanted to do, make them Christmas boxes full of essentials and things to help keep them warm, or volunteer in a shelter on Christmas day – but it’s just one of those things I’ve never got round to doing.

“That’s why when I had this platform I knew I had to do something, and people wanted to help so I decided to make the most of it.

“Homeless in and around Manchester is a huge issue, you see it everywhere. When I see someone homeless, I always stop to have a chat with them, it was actually a homeless person who recommended Barnabus to me.”

Michael said: “These socks have put a smile on my face and it’s great to know they’ll do the same for someone else.”

 

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