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While he was working in the emergency room at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital several years ago, Scott MacTaggart, a licensed practical nurse, identified a problem.
During his shifts, he noticed that some of the people who came in from the streets of Charlottetown lacked the proper clothing to withstand the cold winter months.
One thing that stood out, was that many wore old socks filled with holes, or worse yet, no socks at all.
“I know for myself, whenever I have cold feet or cold hands, I feel awful and miserable and uncomfortable,” said MacTaggart, who wanted to help find a solution. “Just having a warm something on your feet can feel really comforting and uplifting.”
“Having a warm something on your feet can feel really comforting and uplifting.”
– Scott MacTaggart
With this in mind, MacTaggart founded Scott’s Socks in 2012.
In the beginning, he brought a collection of socks to the men’s and women’s shelters in Charlottetown around Christmas.
Before long, people started contacting him asking if they could donate more than just socks, such as winter jackets and sweaters.
People then started donating gently-used and new clothing and toys, and other items, such as personal hygiene products.
Winter boots are always in need, and business-style clothing is also appreciated, as it helps those in need when they go to job interviews.
Last year was the biggest haul to date and MacTaggart was able to bring three full carloads of goods to the various shelters in Charlottetown, something the shelters’ staff and clients very much appreciated.
“They love it,” said MacTaggart, adding that monetary donations are also welcome. “They’ll use that to take some of the clients out bowling or something. Even that positive social event is good for them.”
MacTaggart said because the world can be a scary, negative place, it’s important to try and change the way people feel by promoting positivity.
“So, I think as a society, if we do things that are more kind and build people up, that’s the kind of effect that we can have on the world,” he said. “We can create a ripple effect that hopefully that person can pass on to the next person who can pass another positive thing on to the next person.”
Now in its sixth year, MacTaggart encourages the community to help their fellow neighbours by donating to his cause.
He is happy to arrange for the goods to be picked up or dropped off, and said he is looking forward to bringing what he collects to the shelters again this year.
“(I love) seeing the faces of the people that I meet when I do the deliveries, and just seeing the smiles on their faces and picturing their reactions whenever the Christmas bags are handed out by the staff at the shelters.”
For more information, visit Scott’s Socks on Facebook.