Greenwich sixth-grader leads drive to collect ‘socks for every occasion’ in Socktober event

GREENWICH — Friends hoping to drop by the Bogardus house for dinner this month might want to pencil in a November evening instead.

This is October and — with 11-year-old Jackson Bogardus hard at work — his family’s home is filled with socks.

The Eastern Middle School sixth-grader is the founder of Jackson’s Socktober, a three-year-old drive to collect socks and make sure everyone in the community has toasty toes this winter.

“They take over the dining room,” his dad, Bill Bogardus, said of the thousands of pairs of socks that pile up in the house each fall. “Whatever he comes up with to collect more socks, we try to do.”

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October becomes Socktober

Socktober collection bins are located at Threads and Treads, Greenwich Pediatric Dental Group, Eastern Middle School, Riverside School, Old Greenwich Farmers Market, Greenwich Botanical Center, Mike's Organic and Aux Delices.

For more information or to make a donation, visit www.jacksonsocktober.com.

Jackson’s inspiration came one evening a few years ago when Bill Bogardus and his wife, Jenn, were heading out to a fundraiser for the Undies Project, a Greenwich initiative to provide panties, boxers and briefs to men, women and children in need.

“Maybe I should do that,” he told his parents.

Learning that socks are the most requested item of clothing by people in homeless shelters, the preteen launched the first Socktober in 2019. In that first year, Jackson managed to collect and donate a whopping 2,000 pairs of socks — also catching the eye of Bombas, an apparel company known for donating an item for each item purchased by its customers.

The second year, Bombas agreed to help make Socktober a roaring success, the Bogarduses said. With the company’s help, Jackson managed to donate 8,000 pair of socks in October 2020.

“If I get 100, they would give me 200,” he said.

This year Bombas is on board again, and Jackson is making appearances at a number of local events to help boost the drive. He has also created his annual video, which is viewable on his website at www.jacksonsocktober.com, to get out the word on the drive.

“White socks, black socks, blue socks, tie-dyed socks, Mets socks — even bacon socks! There are socks for every occasion,” said the lively sixth-grader, replacing the sock puppet star of last year’s show.

Socktober collection bins have been placed at locations across town, at Threads & Treads, Greenwich Pediatric Dental Group, Eastern Middle School, Riverside School, Old Greenwich Farmers Market, Greenwich Botanical Center, Mike’s Organic and Aux Delices. Monetary donations are also accepted on the website.

Jackson, who loves to fish and play hockey, football and video games when he’s not collecting socks, will donate his collections to Inspirica in Stamford and other agencies that serve men, women and children in need.

Lucy Langley and Laura Delaflor, the creators of The Undies Project, said they’re proud to have inspired the youngster’s impressive foray into charitable giving.

“When we created The Undies Project seven years ago, we had no idea the impact it would have outside of us donating underwear to those in need,” they said. “He even has his own website now. We hope that Jackson’s philanthropy will inspire other youngsters to give back.”

For more information about the sock drive or to make a donation, visit www.jacksonsocktober.com.