Donations of socks & gloves needed for area homeless

Jan 31, 2018

Several agencies are partnering for a collection drive to gather up two of the most requested items for area homeless. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it is a sock and glove drive.  

“Something as simple as socks can definitely make a difference with both survival and dignity to get them through the day,” declared NFTA Transit Police Officer David Zarbo.

The NFTA, Matt Urban Hope Center, Buffalo Zoo and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus all have collection boxes at their locations.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Dry socks and warm gloves are in great need for Buffalo's homeless. 

Police Officer Zarbo witnesses far too often those homeless who wear wet socks and shoes, suffering severe frostbite in the cold months on city streets. 

“Next day you’ll see them – still wet shoes – next time you’ll see them – they won’t have the shoes on at all – they’ll have wet feet. You encourage. One individual started out that scenario, then it went to he lost a couple of toes – a month later – I see him – he lost all his toes, then – he lost part of the front of his foot, then he lost his whole foot – this is a period of over two or three years – lost his other foot,” explained Officer Zarbo.   

NFTA Transit Police Officer Zarbo talks about homeless without dry socks.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

But now a collaboration is underway to gather donated socks and gloves. Several agencies are partnering for the drive.

The NFTA, Matt Urban Hope Center, Buffalo Zoo and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus all have collection boxes at their locations. Leaders gathered inisde the NFTA Transportation Center in downtown Buffalo Wednesday to launch the drive.

Matt Urban Executive Director Mariles Wesolowski said the items are desperately needed.

Matt Urban Executive Director Mariles Wesolowski.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“This, believe or not, is one of the most under donated items, you know we do get in the winter time lots of donations of clothing, coats, hats – things like that – but the missing part – the missing key is actually the socks,” Wesolowski explained.

“The NFTA is pleased to build on our partnership and support the vision of the Matt Urban Hope Center,” said Kimberley Minkel, Executive Director at the NFTA. “This project is a great example of what can be accomplished when community partners pool their resources and work together toward a common goal." 

New socks placed in collection bin at NFTA Transportation Center in downtown Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

This collection drive runs through Valentine's Day, February 14th.                                               

The following is a full list of drop of locations: 

  • The Matt Urban Center-385 Paderewski Drive
  • Transit Police, 1404 Main Street or MTC,181 Ellicott street                                   
  • Buffalo Zoo-Main Gate Entrance                                             
  • BNMC-Innovation Center 640 Ellicott Street
  • Transit Police Headquarters 1404 Main street
  • Buffalo Airport Air Rescue Firefighting Facility (Firehouse)- 120 Amherst Villa Road (Cheektowaga)