Hanesbrands reports that during 2020, it has supported nearly 400 organizations fighting homelessness in all 50 states, along with Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, and has donated more than one million face masks and nearly 300,000 pairs of socks. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company, which participates in the promotional products industry as suppliers Hanes/Champion/ComfortWash (PPAI 191138, S10) and Alternative Apparel (PPAI 217134, S5), is encouraging others to join its efforts as part of #GivingTuesday.

Along with the mask and sock donations—since the program’s inception in 2009, Hanes has provided more than three million pairs of socks, one of the items relief agencies request most—the company has partnered with Rainier Fruit Company for the third “Pears for Pairs” campaign on a program that donates a portion of the proceeds from bulk and bagged pear sales to purchase socks, currently running in United Supermarkets, Harris Teeter and Wegmans locations across the country. In 2019, the campaign resulted in 25,000 pairs of socks that were distributed to four nonprofits serving the homeless community. It is also continuing its 11-year partnership with Invisible People and its founder and homeless advocate, Mark Horvath, to distribute socks and raise awareness about homelessness in the United States and around the world.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for us all, but this year has been exceptionally rough for people experiencing homelessness,” says Horvath. “The economic impact and lack of affordable housing continues to significantly increase homeless numbers, while homeless shelters have had to reduce capacity and are faced with more need yet fewer resources to help. Invisible People is proud to partner with Hanes to make a difference through product donations and by encouraging people to support their local homeless services. Now more than ever, our homeless population needs support—and there is something that everyone can do to help.”

Hanes says that the needs vary from community to community. For example, The Road Home in Salt Lake City is requesting hats, gloves and snow boots, while Roof Above in Charlotte, North Carolina, is asking for towels and blankets. Merideth Spriggs, founder and chief kindness officer for CARIDAD in Las Vegas, notes the importance of community support.

“Due to quarantine restrictions, the homeless are not able to get their basic needs met—they might not have a mask, they may not be able to get to water sources, or they might have a cup that they can’t refill because of the new restrictions. Just be aware of that and if you see a homeless person, share the love. Giving them something as simple as a bottle of water can change, or, quite honestly, save somebody’s life.”

Sidney Falken, chief branding officer for HanesBrands, adds, “We know that product donations are very meaningful to those experiencing homelessness, and we are honored to help. It takes all of us to help support our communities, and we urge everyone to try to do their part to make a difference.”

Learn more about homelessness, how COVID-19 is impacting those who are homeless, the organizations Hanes is partnering with and how everyone can make difference in the lives of those who need it most on Hanes For Good (www.HanesForGood.com). The new site is dedicated to the brand’s social purpose activities.