LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For Cole Edelen, it’s got to be the socks.
Edelen, 13, is a nationally ranked basketball player, and a 7th grader at Barret Middle School. Mismatched, colorful socks have become his signature accessories on the court, showing off his unique personality.
Cole is also Barret’s 7th grade class vice president, elected with Lillian Payne in November. Together, they came up with a slam drunk of an idea: a winter clothing drive.
After assistance from their classmates, the pair narrowed their focus to one of the most needed winter items - socks.
“We wanted to start right away,” Payne said. “So, we wanted to do something to help the homeless during the winter months, since it’s pretty harsh.”
The thousands of socks Edelen sorted through Thursday showed a look into the young man’s heart.
“That’s the best part about it is knowing that I love socks, and people need socks,” Edelen said. “So, it was a great connection, and I thought that was really cool.”
They came up with a sock drive idea and told Amy Strite, Barret’s principal, about their plan, who connected them with JCPS’ Clothing Assistance Program for a partnership.
The school started its sock drive on Thursday, collecting 1,528 pairs of socks from Barret families.
“I was so impressed that in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of all the challenges that people are facing, the first place their minds went to was, ‘How can we help?’ and leading their classmates in that charge,” Strite said.
Edelen and Payne told WAVE 3 News they were humbled by the turnout, and it was good to know they were making a difference.
Their mission: leave a legacy at Barret, one pair of socks at a time.
“Coming together is what it’s all about,” Payne said, “and we can’t do it without everybody.”
The sock drive continues Friday. Strite told WAVE 3 News that they will count and sort the socks, then hand them over to JCPS.