My socks appeal

Gary Pickard and son Ben Pickard, nine, who people to donate
Gary Pickard and son Ben Pickard, nine, who people to donate

COLLECTING socks may seem an odd idea but a pair of Halifax fund-raisers are gathering as many as possible to help quake victims in Japan

Gary Pickard, of City Lane, Wheatley, and friend Paula Sugawara – born in Halifax but now living in Japan – are trying to get as many pairs as they can for the stricken country.

Paula, 43, an investment banker, went to Crossley Heath School but has lived in Japan on and off for 22 years.

She said: “When people donate clothing they don’t normally give used socks.

“But Japanese don’t wear footwear indoors so many people who fled the tsunami fled in their bare feet.

“Those people are now living in school halls, sports centres and other public buildings with minimal heating so socks are very welcome.”

“On the day of the earthquake I started raising funds for Japan via friends and family in Halifax and so far we have raised £750,” she said.

“The problem is a lot of people believe Japan is a rich country and it’s not necessary to raise funds.

“But this time the scale of devastation has far exceeded anybody’s expectations and it is taking a long time to recover bodies and help people rebuild their lives.”

Although the choice of aid may seem unusual, Paula insists socks are in high demand. Gary, who will collect the socks from people in Halifax and organise for them to be distributed, said: “I’m looking to get as many pairs of socks as I can to send over there.

“I don’t really want used socks, but you can buy several pairs new for a pound in some places and all donations and gratefully received.”

Anyone with socks to donate should contact Gary by email on