Superior nonprofits seek socks, cleaning supplies

Socktoberfest collection underway; CASDA sends out social media plea for items.

A basket for Socktoberfest donations sits by the counter at Empire Coffee in Superior. Donations of new socks are being taken at a number of local businesses through Oct. 31. They will be distributed to nonprofit organizations that serve the homeless. (Maria Lockwood /

Local efforts to help the homeless are seeking public support in the form of small purchases — a pair of socks, a box of cereal, a pack of toilet paper.

Organizers of the annual Socktoberfest weren’t sure whether to hold their Superior sock drive this fall during a pandemic. Sandy Olson Peterson and Mike "MJ" Lucas talked to local organizations that serve the homeless for guidance. They learned the need for socks was as great as ever, and launched the fourth annual Socktoberfest on Oct. 1.

The month-long drive is collecting socks for Harbor House Crisis Shelters, Ruth House, St. Vincent de Paul, Solid Rock Mission and the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse.

Ankle socks, tube socks, dress socks, children’s socks and argyle socks are all needed. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase, Olson Peterson said, but they do have to be new and every pair counts.

“We knew the likelihood of hitting a lofty goal was slim, so we didn't really set one,” Olson Peterson said. “Every pair of socks that is donated is one more pair that we didn't have before.”


Last year, the Socktoberfest collection pulled in 2,500 pairs of socks from the community. They have been distributed, and supplies are again running low.

“It’s just about a need in the community we’re fulfilling in a small way,” Olson Peterson said. “Many of us take buying socks for granted.”

New socks can be dropped off at Empire Coffee, Scott Wallin CPA, Sutherland CBD, Empower Nutrition and the Superior-Douglas County YMCA through Oct. 31. Middle school students can bring new socks to the main office of Superior Middle School, as well. The eighth grade leadership team joined the sock-seeking effort this year.

Monetary donations are also accepted. Olson Peterson said they will reinvest the money into local businesses by buying socks from small businesses.

CASDA drive

With typical donation drives shut down due to the pandemic, CASDA sent out a Facebook request Oct. 16 for donations.

"We are very low on everything (except dry pasta), so please keep us in mind when you shop next!" they posted.

Needed items include the following:

  • Cleaning supplies: 42-gallon heavy duty garbage bags, 13-gallon garbage bags, disinfectant spray and wipes, all-purpose cleaners, laundry soap, Pine-Sol, dryer sheets, dish soap, window cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, bleach, scrubbing pads, sponges.

  • Personal care items: Toilet paper, paper towels, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, facial tissue, antibacterial hand soap.

  • Food: Cereal, canned meat (tuna, chicken, etc.), oil, flour, sugar, sauces (spaghetti, gravy, alfredo), coffee, boxed dinners, soup.

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at 318 21st Ave. E. or at Angie’s Closet during business hours. Call 715-392-3136, email or visit for information.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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