Monday, December 23, 2019 By: Jacob Lang, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA – Gentle Ben’s Socks for the Homeless is set to donate over 3,000 pairs of socks to shelters across mid-Missouri Monday.
The non-profit organization is run by Janet and Edward Miller out of California.
The Millers started the organization in honor of their late son, Ben, who died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm in August of 2017.
“We were absolutely grief stricken for the first couple months,” Janet said. “We decided we can either let it destroy us or we can do something and have something positive come out of his life.”
The Millers said they wanted to do something meaningful that Ben would have liked, so they chose to donate one of his favorite things: new socks.
“He always said that he wanted to get rich enough so that he would never have to wear the same pair of socks twice,” Janet said.
Janet characterized Ben as someone who was generous and humble who never wanted any recognition for his good deeds.
“He really liked helping people, and he never really wanted credit for helping people,” Janet said. “We thought that was the perfect way to honor him.”
Janet said helping the homeless was their goal because socks are the most-needed and least-donated item for homeless people.
“I think that sometimes they’re the forgotten people,” Janet said. “We felt like it was just an area that would have a lot of impact, and we thought that it would be something that Ben would like.”
Gentle Ben’s Socks for the Homeless has been operating for two years.