After learning socks were among the least-donated items to homeless shelters, Coleen McLaughlin came up with a plan.

“We thought why don’t we raise 1,000 socks for Pete and the Salvation Army Booth Centre,” she said.

Pete is McLaughlin’s brother and the inspiration behind “Pete’s Sock Fund.”

“He struggles with schizophrenia. He unfortunately lost his housing just about a year ago and has had to live at the Mission and for the last year has lived at the Salvation Army himself,” McLaughlin said. “He is a kind, very thoughtful, very helpful individual underneath his illness and his generosity shines through.”

McLaughlin put the call out on social media and hundreds of pairs of socks have been donated by family members, friends and strangers—but they’re still a few hundred short of their goal.

“People don’t know how to help and it’s such a small, easy thing to do to pick up a few pairs or a pack of socks and donate them and it just makes me feel as if we’re doing one small thing to help,” said McLaughlin.

McLaughlin’s family in Toronto and Kingston are also collecting socks.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so by contacting McLaughlin or donating directly to Pete’s Sock Fund at the Salvation Army on George Street in the ByWard Market.

All of the socks will be collected and dropped off at the Salvation Army on Friday Dec. 28.

“I know my brother Pete is really thankful and is surprised to hear how many socks have been collected,” McLaughlin said.