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Retired Teacher Travels US Giving Socks to Homeless

09-07-2014
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Would you permanently give up the comfort of your home to dedicate your life to help the homeless? An Illinois man is doing just that in a very peculiar way.

Tom McNamara is a retired special education teacher, now known as "The Sock Man." That's because McNamara has spent the last year and a half traveling to 17 states, giving away thousands of pairs of socks to the homeless.

A few years ago McNamara read an article where he learned that the footwear was the one specific item homeless people are in dire need of.

After doing some research with local podiatrists, he verified the article's claim was true. Consequently, he decided to sell his house and other belongings, buy an RV, and then set out to travel the country helping the homeless.

McNamara's RV is constantly loaded with hundreds, if not thousands of pairs of socks. He said that when he pulls out a pair of socks, 90 percent of the homeless people he serves respond with a smile, or they'll say, "Socks! That's heavenly. This is better than anything I could have gotten today."

"It's important to me that people realize that this group is forgotten, pushed away," McNamara said. "They're wonderful people when you get to sit down and talk to them. And they're heart-breaking stories."

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