The FITS Team sat down with Detroit Socks founder Joey Dattilio to hear more about how this high school senior makes a positive impact in the lives of many homeless people across the country.
Homelessness is a serious and complex issue. When asked how to solve the problem, any adult's response usually starts with helpless exasperation. But not Joey Dattilio, but then again Joey's not an adult per se, and he's anything but average. He's a 17-year-old who leads by example, showing all of us how one person can make a difference.
In 2018 Joey realized the serious homeless issue around Metro Detroit. Shelters in particular didn't receive socks regularly; they tend to not show up in the donation pile because we throw them away when they're worn out. And socks are essential. Imagine life without them, or with only one pair and no access to a washer and dryer. His parents were passionate about volunteering themselves, and with that foundation underfoot, Joey recognized an unfilled opportunity to help others and came up with a plan.
By collecting used and unwanted recyclable cans and bottles, he could take advantage of Michigan's generous deposit return program and use that money to purchase new socks for donation. At first, his hauls brought in enough to buy 100 pairs of socks. Before long, his collection efforts outpaced his neighborhood's beverage consumption. People started contacting him from all over the state, requiring drives anywhere from forty minutes to multiple hours to collect from those who couldn't drive to Joey.
But there was one catch; Joey didn't have his driver's license. While his peers were chomping at the bit for vehicular freedom, he had bigger shoes to fill. So, his parents jumped in to help by driving Joey around to pass out socks.
100-pair donations turned into 500-pair donations, consistently, and the socks went to a variety of shelters serving different groups to help as many as possible. Joey even shipped socks to San Francisco after seeing the need first-hand during a visit.
Over the past few months, it's been harder for Joey to get out and collect bottles and cans, and that’s where FITS® stepped in by sending 1,200 pairs to Detroit Socks to support Joey’s mission and ensure our fellow citizens have their essentials covered.
When we asked Joey what drives him, his answer was simple: "If I can give someone a pair of socks and make their day, it's very rewarding." He mentioned the smiles on the faces, their personal stories, and his efforts to make sure those with children receive a few extra pairs.
Joey found a need and addressed it, and not because his friends were doing it. He did it because it's the right thing to do, and that is more than reason enough. We like to imagine a future with more Joey's. His efforts are a tangible reminder that one person can make an incredible difference with nothing more than an idea and the willingness
Joey doesn't impress us; he inspires us.
Written by: Scott Robertson
Your sock size shouldn’t be a guessing game. Our socks range from small to double XL, but the best way to know the perfect fit for you is to match your shoe size to the chart on the left. That way, you’ll know the size you select will give you the fit and feel you expect.
Between sizes? Go with your gut, but rest assured that your socks will still fit great. If you receive your order and find yourself wishing you’d gone up or down a size, just let us know. We’ll happily send you replacements for your preferred size.
Concerned about laundry mix-ups? All FITS® socks are coordinated by color and size, based on the colors you see on the size chart. So, you won’t have to worry about mixing up your sizes with the other FITS® wearers in your home. (But stray socks mysteriously going missing in the dryer? Unfortunately, we can’t help with that.)
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