Perhaps you've heard of Socks by Bob before. This industrious group of four Saskatoon seniors has been knitting wool socks for Canadians in need since 2010. Using sock knitting machines built by their founding member, Bob Rutherford, and Canadian wool yarn from Custom Woolen Mills, they have supplied over 14,000 pairs of socks to shelters, drop-in centres, and community outreach programs across Canada. With the recent addition of a toque knitting machine, their knitting capacity is at a new high. Now, they are seeking donations to assist in covering the cost of yarn and shipping, allowing them to continue helping Canadians stay warm on incredibly cold winter days.
Bob has always said that, as long as wool shows up at his door, he'll knit it into socks for those who need them. Along with Bob's son, Scot, we have aimed to make sure he never has a dull day. In 2018 alone, Socks by Bob made 1860 pairs of socks and 585 toques, providing a helping hand to hundreds of Canadians who are without adequate winter shelter and clothing. With each item requiring approximately 0.25 lbs of CWM Sock Yarn - that's around 1200 lbs of high quality Canadian raw wool milled into 600 lbs of warm woolen yarn and sent across the prairie to Bob's door. Last year, approximately 300 lbs of raw wool was donated by Custom Woolen Mills customers and, whenever possible, folks travelling between the Mill and Saskatoon have provided transportation for the yarn. However, the rest of the expense for wool, labour, and shipping, has been covered by the personal donations of a few individuals and us here at Custom Woolen Mills.
This year the Socks by Bob team has set their sights even higher, aiming to make their yearly 2000 pairs of socks goal and to surpass the 2018 toque count. While everyone currently involved in the Socks by Bob story is determined to continue, you can appreciate that the expenses are high for a few individual donors and one small business, particularly with the new increased knitting capacity of the toque knitting machine. That's why Terra Dionne, a long time friend of Bob's and a customer of Custom Woolen Mills (she's done a good deal of yarn transporting between the Mill and Saskatoon), came up with the idea of running a Go Fund Me campaign for Socks by Bob so that others can contribute to this amazing story.
We hope you'll consider making a donation to their efforts, whether it be to cover the costs of one or two pairs of socks (around $15.00), or a larger quantity. We have placed the link to the Socks by Bob Go Fund Me Campaign below. We hope you'll also share this funding campaign request with anyone you think may be interested in helping. We thank you, Socks by Bob thanks you, and probably someone outside in this winter cold snap wearing wool socks would thank you if given the opportunity.
Socks by Bob is not a registered charity, just a bunch of people trying to do a good thing. They have been featured in provincial, national, and international media content, including the Great Big Story video posted above in this blog. For your interest and background research, below are the links to a sampling of that content.
Feature Image: Julian Hazelwood /CBC News