Even during a pandemic, community involvement remains absolutely critical to PEAK6. It just looks a little different this year. For our fourth annual sock drive in support of Socktober, PEAK6 employees firmwide collected and donated 5,855 pairs of socks to support the homeless—exceeding our 5K goal. The donations and collection drive were fully digital, but the community needs—and of course the socks—are very real.
Every night in the United States, an estimated 600,000 people live on the streets. And socks are one of the least donated items to charities serving underprivileged community members.
This year, our socks are being delivered directly to homeless support organizations in nine cities—Belfast, Chicago, Dallas, Kalispell, Mont., Los Angeles, New York, Overland Park, Kan., Portland, Ore. and Seattle.
In 2017, Apex Clearing, a PEAK6 company, began participating in firm-wide sock drives in the annual #Socktober crusade—a nationwide initiative that began in 2011. Bill Capuzzi, CEO of Apex, spearheaded Apex’s involvement, encouraging the Apex team to donate socks to support a critical community need.
“This annual event has become a staple for my team at Apex, and is very important to me personally. Over the past few years, we have collectively donated more than 15,000 pairs of socks to homeless individuals,” says Bill.
His commitment to the cause inspired the Chicago office of PEAK6 to join Apex’ efforts in 2017, including a friendly rivalry to see who could donate the most socks. Who won? The homeless.
Today, thousands of pairs of socks later, employees across all PEAK6 businesses participate in this community-support effort.
Sock it to ‘em
Employees from all PEAK6 businesses selected which nonprofits to support and created online wish lists for each organization. Employees were able to choose from a variety of socks (because, let’s be honest, we all have preferences about our socks), purchase them online and have them sent directly to one of the following organizations:
- Belfast: Simon Community NI works to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Northern Ireland.
- Chicago: A Safe Haven Foundation serves adults, families with children and youth—helping people aspire, transform and sustain their lives as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose.
- Dallas: Hope Supply Co is a nonprofit dedicated to meeting the critical needs of homeless and at-risk children across North Texas by providing necessities including diapers, clothing, school supplies, toys and programs to enhance their lives.
- Kalispell, Mont.: Samaritan House provides food, housing, resources, and case management for the homeless in Kalispell and beyond the Flathead Valley. They have served 34,860 meals and 1,350 people, including nearly 200 families and 225 homeless veterans.
- Los Angeles: People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) is committed to ending homelessness for individuals, families, and communities. PATH envisions a world where every person has a home. Their values include creative collaborations, strategic leadership, empowerment for all, and passionate commitment.
- New York: Urban Pathways is a data-driven organization that ensures homeless and at-risk New Yorkers have the housing, services and the support they need to achieve and sustain independence, stability and wellness as fully integrated members of their communities.
- Overland Park, Kan.: Footprints: Heroes Home Gate provides homeless male veterans with a short-term home, three nutritious meals per day and 24/7 staff supervision. This service is offered in partnership with the U.S. Veterans Administration through the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans initiative.
- Portland, Ore.: Mainspring Portland provides temporary emergency assistance to people in Portland who are unable to meet their basic needs, including food, clothing and referral services.
- Seattle: Downtown Emergency Service Center works to end the homelessness of vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Through partnerships and an integrated array of comprehensive services, treatment and housing, they give people the opportunity to reach their highest potential.
“We’re delighted to be able to stay engaged around a meaningful issue affecting the communities in which we live and work. Employee participation has been wonderful—I’m still amazed that we exceeded our initial goal in only 16 days,” says PEAK6 Manager of Corporate Philanthropy Korene Smith.
Warm hearts. Warm feet.