An inspirational 11-year-old boy has started a charity project to collect new socks and underwear for the homeless.
Joe Cox had noticed a growing number of rough sleepers while walking around in his neighbourhood of Leith, Edinburgh.
His simple idea, which he has dubbed Socks for the Street, has touched the hearts of people around the world through a Facebook appeal.
Joe has even convinced his school Leith Primary to be a drop-off point for people’s donations.
The youngster desperately wanted to do something to help the homeless try to get warm in the cold winter months.
He said: “I don’t like seeing homeless people cold and on the streets so I just thought I’d like to do something for them.
“We got in touch with Bethany Christian Trust who help the homeless.
“My mum set up a Facebook page which has now had more than 5,000 hits.
“We got my school involved and people can now drop off their donations of new
underwear and socks to the reception.
“It makes me feel good because I like to be helping out in the community and supporting worthy causes.”
Joe’s heartfelt campaign caught the eye of top soup eatery Union of Genius.
Founder Elaine Mason was warmed into action after seeing Joe’s post.
She said: “I was just knocked out when I came across his page. I was stunned that he was only 11.
“I have driven the care van on occasion for Bethany and it was only when I was out there that I realised the importance of the basics – the one thing you need is clean underwear and it’s the one thing no-one is going to have easy access to.
“I was astonished that someone his age had seen that – it is absolutely amazing. It’s sad that it’s a need but good that people are rallying around.”
Care Van and Care Shelter manager for Bethany Christian Trust Ruth Longmuir has said they were delighted with Joe’s efforts.
She said: “We’re really excited to be working with Joseph on his Socks for the Street initiative, a very timely collection with the Care Shelter opening again for the winter.
“His passion to help those who are less fortunate than himself is evident and is clearly inspiring others to donate these items that are much appreciated by the people who use our services.
“The Care Van, run in partnership with Edinburgh City Mission, operates every evening and on four lunchtimes a week, providing free nutritious food and hot drinks to people who are rough sleeping or in temporary accommodation and with limited access to cooking facilities.
“The Care Shelter runs for 28 weeks over the winter months, moving around different church buildings and last night saw it open again for the season.”
To donate online search for Socks for the Street on Amazon or drop in donations at Leith Primary School.
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