West Bloomfield residents donate socks to needy community members

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 8, 2017

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Two West Bloomfield residents are doing their part to give back to their community during the holiday season and beyond.

Susan Kaplan, an employee at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, and her husband, Randy Kaplan, a podiatrist, have started taking donations for socks to give to the needy.

“You don’t realize how cold it is until you don’t have anything to wear during the winter season,” said Susan Kaplan. 

Susan Kaplan said she has organized the donations for the past three years — everything from jackets to boots to new underwear and socks. 

This year, she has set up boxes in her husband’s offices in Southfield and Clinton Township to gather socks, jackets and other clothing donations. Susan Kaplan said she got the idea for socks because she didn’t see many other people donating them. 

“There’s plenty of people donating shoes. It doesn’t matter what you’re collecting; it’s a matter of what you’re doing for the community,” said Randy Kaplan. “I’m a firm believer that Christmastime is great, but the spirit shouldn’t be just for one month.” 

Once the boxes are full, Susan Kaplan takes them to local organizations, including My Brother’s Keeper in Detroit and the Pontiac Rescue Mission. 

“You do what you can with what you got, and if you have something to donate, I’d appreciate taking it from you,” said Linda Ketterer, a volunteer with My Brother’s Keeper who works with the Kaplans. “It’s a great project that (they have). We really appreciate it.”

Ketterer said that MBK will accept any donations, but it’s always great to get things that will fit everybody, like socks.

“(Those organizations) know where people need it the most,” said Susan Kaplan. “People will come to them. They do backpacks, socks, boots, jackets — stuff that’s required that some families don’t have the means of getting.” 

People can donate socks, along with any type of clothing they want, or they can make a monetary donation. The money is used to buy cold-weather clothing, which is then donated. 

The Kaplans don’t limit their donations to just during the cold season. They plan on keeping the boxes in Randy Kaplan’s office year-round.

Susan Kaplan said that accepting items year-round means that charities won’t get just one big donation of socks — they will have items throughout the year.

“It’s the time of year to be giving, but giving should be done on a full-year basis,” said Randy Kaplan. “It’s important to give back to the community and to do community service. You get that back tenfold. It feels better to give than to get.”