By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
A kindergarten student at San Jacinto Elementary in Liberty has gathered close to 1,000 pairs of socks he plans to donate to Liberty County nursing home residents.
Jackson Kline, the 6-year-old son of Mitzi and Jerry Kline Jr. of Liberty, says he came up with the idea after watching a video on the Disney channel.
“I watched a show where a girl was giving socks to homeless people,” Jackson said.
Later that day, his mom said he asked how he could help others. She suggested they make a list of ideas, including community service. After considering other suggestions, Jackson decided his project would focus on senior citizens, though he still had no idea how he could help.
“He has always loved the residents at nursing homes. When he was 1, my mom stayed at a nursing home for a short time while she recuperated from a car accident,” Mitzi said. “We didn’t know what the residents needed, so I took him to Magnolia Place in Liberty one day after school.”
She recalls watching her son go into the nursing home and asking to speak to the manager. He was connected with the activities director, who reportedly suggested that he collect socks for seniors.
“She told him all nursing home residents need socks, so that started it,” Mitzi said.
Anxious to get others involved in his Socks for Seniors project, Jackson asked his pastor for help.
“Jackson gave a little speech to the congregation and left a decorated basket in the foyer. That’s where it started Jackson’s Socks for Seniors,” Mitzi said. “A few days later on the way to school, he asked me if his friends at school could help. I told him he could ask his principal. I didn’t think he would do it because he is kind of shy sometimes.”
Volunteering at the school a few days later, the principal shared with Mitzi that Jackson had come to see him in his office and got permission to collect donated socks at school.
As hundreds of socks began piling up at the Kline home, Jackson asked his mother about mailing some to Florida.
Confused by his question, Mitzi asked him why he asked about Florida. Jackson explained, “Didn’t they just have a Harvey there?,” referring to Hurricane Michael.
“I bet a nursing home in Florida flooded and the residents there need socks, too,” he said.
As of the evening of Dec. 23, Jackson was 813 pairs into his 1,000-pair goal, Mitzi said, with donations of socks still streaming in from areas outside of Texas. A cash donation made to Jackson through his church is expected to push him past his goal, Mitzi said.
“We will get to 1,000 or pretty close to it,” she said. “People are trying to help him reach his goal.”
Mitzi said her family will begin delivering the socks the week after Christmas.
Asked why he chose to help senior citizens, Jackson said without hesitation, “I wanted to do this because it shows God’s love for them.”