Cold Feet Warm Hearts: Student collects socks for homeless

Olivia Vibbert, a seventh grader at Signal Knob Middle School, has started a Cold Feet Warm Hearts campaign for her FCCLA project, in honor of her sister who passed away. She is collecting socks for people in need, especially children. Kaley Toy/Daily

MAURERTOWN – A local 12 year old girl has collected over 4,000 pairs of socks for the homeless in just a month.

Olivia Vibbert, a seventh grader at Signal Knob Middle School, is a member of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. For her chapter’s STAR event program, she has planned and is conducting a child development project that has a positive impact on children and the community.

“What began as a school project has become a passion of mine,” she said.

She created a campaign called Cold Feet Warm Hearts, with the goal of collecting over 5,000 pairs of socks to give to the homeless in the community, with an emphasis on children.

“One of the least donated, yet most needed item given to the homeless is socks,” she said.

She is taking donations from schools, local organizations and community members, and has even received donated socks from people around the world. Letters have accompanied some of the packages commending her on the work she is doing to help others.

“It’s cool meeting all these new people,” she said.

Olivia said she is “growing” her campaign by also accepting other items, such as hats, gloves and scarves to help those without the necessary winter apparel to get through the cold weather months.

She said she decided to create this campaign in honor of her late sister, Delaney, who was stillborn in 2012. The campaign is designed to fulfill her legacy. Olivia said her family decided to partake in random acts of kindness to make a difference in the lives of others.

“My great-grandma always used to tell us that if you had cold feet, it meant that you had a warm heart,” Olivia said.

She added that her family was homeless for over a month in 2015 and met many kind people who helped them through that tough time.

“One thing I learned from other people who were also homeless is that the majority of people who were out in the freezing cold, and on the streets everyday, had some of the kindest, warmest hearts of any people we have ever known,” Olivia said.

In addition to the clothing, Olivia is also collecting money in order to provide for those in need. She is purchasing additional socks with the funds, and has donated a gravestone to a family in need who lost a child.

Olivia’s mother, Krista Vibbert, said she never expected this to become so big, but said she is glad it has been a success and that they are able to help even more people than anticipated.

Vibbert said her quiet daughter has stepped out of her comfort zone to make life easier for others.

“She makes us proud.”

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com.

On the net

In order to get the word out to people around the world, Olivia Vibbert  has started a Facebook page at http://tiny.cc/mbm8gy, a wish list on Amazon at http://tiny.cc/5gm8gy and a GoFundMe page at http://tiny.cc/qtp8gy.