General Description - (Service Learning I and II) Socks for the Sole is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization run entirely by students at the University of Texas at Austin. We work on fundraising and distributing socks and other under-donated items to people experiencing homelessness in Austin. Socks are some of the most-requested items from people experiencing homelessness and the agencies that serve them. Socks for the Sole provides students with an opportunity to:
- Meet other students who are committed to creating change in their community.
- Learn about the essential components of any functioning non-profit organization.
- Educate themselves about homelessness in Austin and the network of organizations that work on challenging this social justice issue.
Contact Information - Students should reach out to the president of Socks for the Sole, Liz Collins, as their point of contact. If interested in registering, students should email email@example.com. Email is the best way to contact. We ask students to complete an interest form available on our website.
Specifics on Volunteer Opportunities - ALL VIRTUAL FOR SPRING 2021
- Attend Weekly Meetings (Wednesday Nights @ 6:30 pm)
- Description: During a student’s first semester with Socks for the Sole, the student will work with each of our committees (e.g., volunteer, accounting, public relations, etc.), rotating committees each week. This process provides students with an in-depth understanding of the fundamental roles and responsibilities of running a small, community non-profit. They will receive a “committee assignment” each week. For example, the fundraising committee has new students write an email they would send to potential donors. During COVID-19, students will also have the opportunity to watch and contribute as our organization adapts to unique circumstances.
2. Education and Presentation
- Description: At most meetings, students will receive a quick, educative presentation by the president or (when possible) a guest speaker, and the president will provide students with additional materials if they are interested. We believe that we can only be good advocates if we are informed. Other community organizations have expressed the need for awareness campaigns among the UT/West Campus communities. At the end of their service-learning semester, students are expected to do a short 5-minute presentation on homelessness that focuses on a topic of their choice (e.g., homelessness and mental health). In past semesters, students have presented infographics, which we have used in our social media to increase awareness about the complexity of homelessness.
3. Reviewing Survey Information
- Description: Last semester, Socks for the Sole worked with the Austin Homelessness Advisory Council (AHAC) to create a survey/questionnaire to distribute to people experiencing homelessness in Austin. We wanted to know more about folks’ needs during the pandemic while keeping our members safe. AHAC distributed the survey and sent us PDF files of the surveys. We need help sorting through the PDF files, and we think that service-learning students could benefit from reading the answers. It is the closest thing to interaction with people experiencing homelessness that we can safely provide during the pandemic.