Friday, September 7, 2012

“Toes and Tushies” Campaign Again Collects New Socks and Underwear for Children in Need

First Lady Elisabeth Reiss drops a collection basket off at Scottie's
Shoe Store, where proprietor "Miss Anna" is overseeing donations.

CHESTERTOWN, MD— The month of September brings the return of a donation program that fills an embarrassing gap in the flow of clothing to children from financially needy families – the lack of new socks and underwear.  For the second year, Washington College First Lady Elisabeth Reiss is teaming with local elementary and middle schools and Saint Martin’s Ministries in Ridgely, Md., for the “Toes & Tushies” project, collecting newly purchased socks and underpants in sizes 3T to 16, as well as monetary donations for the cause. 

Through September 30, donors can leave their donations in specially marked laundry baskets placed at Scottie’s Shoe Store, 307 High Street in downtown Chestertown, at Java George, corner of Sharp and Main streets in downtown Rock Hall, and in Hodson Commons on the Washington College campus. In addition, members of the Women’s League of Washington College (an organization that provides volunteer and financial support to the campus) planned to collect donated items at their September meeting.

"There is a lot available to families in terms of gently used pants, shirts and coats,” explains Reiss, “but consignment shops and charities can’t sell or give away used undergarments. So a child may be clean and well dressed on the outside, but have a great need for a fresh pair of undies or socks.” 

Saint Martin’s Ministries — a non-profit organization that helps low-income families meet basic needs of food, clothing and housing — will distribute the donations to its clients in five Eastern Shore communities, including Kent. In addition, school nurses in Kent County’s public elementary and middle schools will get them to the appropriate students in their communities. 

For more information, call Saint Martin’s Barn, in Ridgely, Md., at 410-634-1140, email Chief Operations Officer Jean Austin at, or visit