Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger holds Bombas socks that were delivered on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2021, at Catholic Charities Tri-County Services in Rensselaer, N.Y. Cindy Schultz for The Evangelist
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger holds Bombas socks that were delivered on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2021, at Catholic Charities Tri-County Services in Rensselaer, N.Y. Cindy Schultz for The Evangelist
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The bright purple door was hard to miss. 


The colorful entryway belonged to the St. Charles Lwanga Center, a men’s shelter run by Catholic Charities’ Housing Office. It was a good way for Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of the Diocese of Albany to identify the shelter’s doors, which he was visiting to drop off an important donation: pairs of socks. 


“We have a couple of socks for you!” the Bishop announced. 


On Friday, Feb. 19, the Bishop rode along with members of Catholic Charities to help deliver bags of socks to the CoNSERNS-U food pantry in Rensselaer and the St. Charles Lwanga Center. The donation is thanks to Catholic Charities' partnership with Bombas, a sock and clothing company that donates a pair of socks for every pair purchased. 

 

“Through Bombas, we're able to apply for socks to provide to our neighbors,” said Eileen Spath, marketing and communications manager for Catholic Charities. “Once the application is approved, Bombas sends us big boxes of socks that we distribute to our agencies across the Diocese based on need.”

 

Socks are typically one of the most in-demand items in shelters but are seldom donated. Sondra Young, executive director for the St. Charles Lwanga Center, confirmed that socks are one of the most distributed items of clothing for the shelter.

 

“We go through socks a lot, especially in the winter,” Young said. “It’s hard if you don’t have good footwear.”

 

This is the second year the Catholic Charities has received socks from Bombas, about 2,500 socks this year - matching last year's donation. 

 

The CoNSERNS-U food pantry will be offering the donated socks to any incoming families or visitors. Jenn Hyde, executive director of Catholic Charities Tri-County Services, said the pantry tries to offer up extra supplies - like Advil, diapers or other household products they get - to any visitors in case they need it. Hyde says if any children are coming in, the pantry hands out any donated toys: “It’s the little things,” she said.

 

Now, Hyde can add socks to the mix: “The socks will make people smile.”