Students in Professor Jane Paley’s Public Relations Campaigns seminar have spent most of the spring semester thinking about clean, white socks, and how to ship them overseas to the American troops that need them so desperately.
They are hoping to use a publicity campaign to get the St. John’s community more involved in the effort by holding a benefit dance on Friday, April 30.
When the class researched a cause worthy of their time and effort, the students found that while soldiers have the most advanced weapons and equipment, many do not have access to basic necessities.
“It’s really sad because people take the little stuff for granted, and socks are one of those things,” said Jay Castillo, a senior who is working on the project.
“Imagine stepping in a puddle of water and worrying about having wet feet for days.”
The benefit dance, titled “Dance Through the Decades,” will be held in D’Angelo Center, where the price of admission will be a six-pack of white sweat socks.
They plan to get the crowd on their feet from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a live band playing music from the ’50s and ’60s.
FUSE and Gino’s Pizza will be donating give-a-ways and DJ Zeke has agreed to perform during the night free of charge.
By the end of the semester, the group hopes to have 500 pairs of socks to ship overseas.
“I think we’ll go beyond our goal,” said Tanya Dainoski, a senior.
“A lot of people were nervous about this project at first, but we’ve watched interest grow and been more successful than we could have imagined.”
So far the group has completed several other fundraisers, including selling hot chocolate and lemonade during St. John’s athletic events to raise the money necessary to purchase socks.
On April 13th, they collaborated with Sigma Phi Epsilon for the “Sigma ‘Pie’ Epsilon” event, where they gave students the chance to throw a pie in the face of teachers and administrators.
Dainoski estimates that they’ve raised between $350 and $400 so far. Paley says that she has several goals for her Public Relations Campaigns class. The most vital of which is raising awareness of the hardships troops face in combat and disaster areas.
“We owe them so much,” she said. “This is our modest way of thanking them.”
Paley also views the class as a way for students to celebrate St. John’s Vincentian mission, and encourages them to use their service projects to apply their resources and skills to those in need.
“I’m profoundly moved by my students’ generosity and sense of decency,” said Paley.
“They are endlessly creative and I admire their ability to overcome obstacles. Their love of country and community gives me hope.”Updates and more information on the Socks for Soldiers campaign can be found on the class’ blog at www.sockittoem.weebly.com.