Tell us a bit about yourself...
Hey! I’m Adina, I was born raised in West Orange, NJ and now living in the big apple. I am currently in grad school for Social Work at NYU. In my free time in between running my own non-profit and getting my masters in social work I can be found swimming, playing chess, painting or talking to strangers.
KKGS is a initiative dedicated to collecting socks for those in need and encouraging community members to work together to help those experiencing homeliness. KKGS has students and offices nationwide going door-to-door knocking, meeting their neighbors and collecting socks.
Encourages communities to work to together to help those in need and get people to meet their neighbors while meeting the needs of others.
We believe that meeting your neighbors doesn't mean only meeting the guy who lives next door to you, but also those who live on the street next to you. Therefore we try to get our communities to meet their neighbors in need, and allow them to feel connected to the cause.
Meet Your Neighbor Dinners:
In addition to collecting socks, a recent initiative of KKGS has started right here in NYC. KKGS encourages community members to meet their neighbors - we believe meeting your neighbors goes beyond just meeting the man who lives in the building next to you. Meeting your neighbors includes those living on the streets or in shelters near you as well. Therefore in efforts to break the stigma of homelessness and bring together communities - we create dinners that bring community members and people who are experiencing homelessness side-by-side for dinner.
To date KKGS is on over 20 college campuses with students knocking from door-to-door and has collected over 90,000 socks.
In addition to being on over 20 college campuses, we have had collection drives at Deloitte, WeWork, Alston and Bird Law Firm, Toyota, Rockin' Jump, Facebook NYC offices, Sugar Foods Company girl scout clubs as well as several other offices.
We have partnered with a few sock companies in the past including Bombas, ToeSox, United Legwear and PlanetSox with a large percentage of our total sock donations coming from these companies.
What inspired you to start it?
About 2 years ago I was handing out sandwiches to the homeless community in NYC when one man approached me. "It's great that you're giving out sandwiches,” he said, “but one thing we really need is socks -- especially as winter approaches." Here I was, sandwiches in hand, startled by his suggestion. I quickly realized that the best way to help a community is by listening to what they need.
That night I went door-to-door in my NYU dorm asking fellow students if they had a pair of socks to donate. After knocking on the doors of just one floor, I had 40 pairs of socks.
Knock Knock Give a Sock was born as a way to help those in need and to give individuals and communities a way to help, and to create a space for people to meet their neighbors while doing something good.
Do you have a favorite part of running the business?
Meetings. I LOVE meetings with new companies that want to get on board and teaching people about our mission as well as learning about what they do and seeing how we can collaborate.
What is your ultimate goals for KKGS?
Our ultimate goal is go beyond just fulfilling the need of getting socks, but actually breaking down barriers between people and breaking the stigma of homelessness. I truly believe that these sock drives are how we get our “sock” in the door. It’s the first step towards opening up a conversation about having “Meet Your Neighbors” dinners where we bring together offices/students/community members and people who are experiencing homelessness to sit side-by-side for a dinner.
What are your feelings on the socks with individual toes?
On a personal level, I love them! However for those who are experiencing homelessness, for many who are on the street their toes are often more swollen and infected and the individual toe socks are actually very uncomfortable for those experiencing homelessness.
What's the most difficult part of the venture?
Fundraising. Isn’t that every non-profits biggest challenge?
Best guidance for women looking to start their own non-profit?
1. Fill a need, don’t try to start something new-er, or better, find what missing and create it. 2. Make sure you’re excited about it and you have people who believe in you who take is as seriously if not more then you do.
Who is your inspiration?
Oprah Winfrey. I want to be her when I grow up.
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. – Mark Twain