Ohio Nurse Collects Barely Worn Hospital Socks for the Homeless

iStock/AnthonyRosenberg
iStock/AnthonyRosenberg

When setting aside clothes to donate, most people ignore their old socks. But even if they're used, a free pair of socks can make a huge difference to someone who needs them—especially as the weather gets colder. According to The Columbus Dispatch, one local nurse has found a way to take advantage of one of the biggest resources of secondhand socks out there: hospitals.

Kathy Francis first became aware of just how many perfectly wearable pairs of socks are thrown out by hospitals each day after her own hospital stay for back surgery. If a patient doesn't want to take their hospital-provided socks home, the pair gets tossed straight in the trash—even if they were only worn for a few days. Once it was her own barely worn socks being thrown in the trash, Francis realized how wasteful the current system is.

When she began working at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital six months after her surgery, socks were still on her mind, so she asked her employer if she could salvage them. That was eight years ago, and she has helped donate an estimated 13,000 pairs of socks to people in need since then.

After used socks are deposited in one of the hospital's utility closets, Francis collects them (about 35 pairs a week), washes them at home with a little bleach, folds them, and stores them in brown paper bags. She then drops off the bags at the office of Tony Bonacci, a deacon at the local St. Joseph Catholic Church, and he delivers them to the soup kitchen where he volunteers.

Socks are often the most-requested clothing item at homeless shelters. Since hospital socks are designed to be thicker and warmer than regular socks and come with non-skid rubber grips, they're great candidates for donation.

Francis's sock recovery program is currently limited to the surgery and recovery unit where she works, but she'd like to see it expand to the rest of the hospital, as well as hospitals elsewhere.

[h/t The Columbus Dispatch]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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United Airlines Now Has an Interactive Map to Keep Track of COVID-19 Restrictions While You Travel

It's getting easier to keep up to date on coronavirus travel restrictions.
It's getting easier to keep up to date on coronavirus travel restrictions.
andresr/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re thinking of traveling for business, leisure, or to see family over the holiday season, you’ll quickly discover that different cities and states have different guidelines for entry to help suppress the spread of COVID-19. Some may mandate quarantines for travelers, while others require a negative test result or completed health forms.

Fortunately, there’s a way to navigate this slightly dystopian travel environment. United Airlines has released an interactive map of the country that allows visitors to see what each state and region requires for guests—or if it’s even open at all.

The map also allows users to drill down and see if their destination has restaurants and other non-essential businesses open as well as any mask policies.

New York, for example, is currently requiring many visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival depending on the community spread in their point of departure. Oregon has no such restrictions but face coverings are required.

The map is updated regularly and can also be found on United’s mobile app.

[h/t Lifehacker]