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Students giving early holiday gift to nursing home residents

A group of students at a Columbia County school are already getting in the holiday spirit, by giving back to their community.

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. — Seventh graders Emily Marino and Emily LaRouche are a big part of why a box inside St. Columba School in Bloomsburg is filled to the brim with pairs of comfy socks.

It's part of a community service project they created called "Socks for Soles."

The school and parish are collecting socks throughout November to donate to residents at several nursing homes in our area.

"I hope they feel nice and cheerful, and they feel like they know somebody cares about them," said LaRouche.

When they deliver the socks, each resident will also receive a Christmas card made by one of the students.

"Especially during the holiday season, we know a lot of our nursing homes don't get a lot of visitors, so having socks and cards delivered to them, it's just a pleasant surprise. It's a godsend for them," said St. Columba's Principal, Peter Morisco.

"We did a sock drive last year, but we collected 40 socks, so we wanted to expand on that," said Marino.

And expand they did. Between the students and parishioners, the school has already collected more than 1,000 pairs of socks, and the drive is still going until the end of the month.

"We were very, very happy like our whole seventh grade class was just very thrilled about it, and we didn't expect to get this many pairs of socks," said LaRouche.

The girls say it just goes to show how generous their community is.

"I think that they're very giving, and they want to help. We've had a few people who have given us over 100 pairs of socks," said Marino.

Of course, the students won't be able to personally deliver the socks to the nursing homes because of coronavirus restrictions, but they plan to record a video message for all the residents.