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Edison Jr./Sr. High School students, staff and supporters are keeping people warm this winter with a sock drive to benefit the needy. 

   Junior high math teacher Greg Marsh teamed up with EHS senior Morgan Lesnansky and her Ohio Valley Youth Initiative, a youth-led group which has completed service projects such as community cleanups and fundraisers for charity. The latest campaign gathered 548 pair of socks for men, women and children which Lesnansky was donating to local causes. Marsh said he was inspired by a holiday story and believed Lesnansky and her group could help with his community service project. 

   “We collected over two weeks from students and staff and the Village Network [counseling agency] representative even brought socks,” Marsh said. “There’s a book called ‘Socks for Christmas’ and I share it with students every year. It’s about the importance of being grateful for every little thing. I thought that it would be neat to do a sock drive and I knew Morgan had started the Ohio Valley Youth Initiative. I thought it would be cool to team up with Morgan and put my idea with her organization so we could do something really great for the needy.” 

   Neither of them anticipated the donation response and were thrilled with the amount of donations given. The project received 261 pair of women’s socks, 147 pair of men’s socks and 140 pair for kids. Marsh said the footwear was in great demand and the donations would help in some small way. 

   “Socks are the most requested items at homeless shelters. People always talk about coats, hats and gloves, but you need socks every day,” he commented. “I thought we’d just get 50-100 pair and I was blown away. This is the first time we’ve done anything like this and I definitely want to do it again next year.” 

   “I didn’t expect that amount,” Lesnansky added. “I want to donate to places that would give it away and not charge. Everything goes back to the people for free.” 

   She thanked Marsh for including her 30-member group and said she hoped to do more service projects in the near future. 

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