Residents from Langley Seniors Village, like Mildred Nichols and Maxine Olson, have been making and collecting warm clothing for the homeless for the past few months, as part of the annual Sock Granny campaign. (Special to the Langley Advance)

Langley Seniors Village residents keep Sock Granny campaign alive

Local Retirement Concepts residents follow the lead of program founder Barbara Vance.

A handful of seniors at Langley Seniors Village are Sock Grannies in their own right.

Every year, Retirement Concepts honours a former resident and a woman dubbed the Sock Granny, Barbara Vance.

The 77-year-old woman, a former resident at the company’s assisted living facility in Vancouver, founded a sock drive four years ago aimed at helping the society’s most vulnerable – those who are homeless and struggling with mental illness, explained Dr. Azim Jamal, president and CEO of Retirement Concepts.

“Even though our Sock Granny is no longer staying with us, she has created a legacy that continues to live on – one that makes an impactful difference on the lives of many British Columbians,” Jamal said.

In years past, she and her sock soldiers collected and donated in excess of 400 pairs annually.

Now in its fifth year, the Sock Granny campaign continues to grow, expanding beyond just a sock drive to include toques and other winter garments and accessories.

Vance’s vision lives on locally, as well, said Sheri Brown, director of marketing for the Langley Seniors Village assisted-living facility on 65th Avenue.

A number of residents share Vance’s desire to help, and started collecting donations as well as knitting winter woolies back in November, Brown explained.

They are prepared next week to hand over a variety of brand new and handmade items, including close to 100 toques, 116 pairs of socks, four women’s fleece hoodies, five men’s hoodies, and a few pair of gloves.

“About half of the knitted items were hand made by residents” of the Willoughby facility, said Brown.

“The residents at Langley Seniors Village embrace this cause every year, they look forward to helping out those that need a little extra warmth this Christmas season,” she added.

This coming Monday, the donations will be delivered to the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope.

“The Sock Granny showed that no matter what stage of life you are in, your actions can have a positive impact on your community. We recognized that her important legacy had to be continued, and we hope to keep it going for many years to come,” Jamal added.

Even though existing donations are being delivered to the Langley shelter next week, collection bins will remain at Retirement Concept facilities throughout the month of December to accept donations of socks, toques, and more.

For a list of Retirement Concept locations go to www.retirementconcepts.com.

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