CAPSLO receives much needed socks leading up to ‘warming center’ season
TEMPLETON — For the second time, Templeton High School (THS) students wrapped up their annual sock drive, which resulted in over 1,500 pairs of socks for the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County CAPSLO. Spearheaded by Kahlea Ramos, a sophomore at THS, and Jordan Esquibel, a senior — both serving as Spirit Commissioners, the sock drive saw growth this year, with students, teachers, and the local community coming together to make a difference.
Kahlea, who founded the event last year, was happy to see her classmates exceed last year’s collection.
“We ended up raising even more than we did last year, so it was cool to see them pull through like that,” she said.
She attributed the success to the incredible support from the school community.
“We had a lot of helping hands this year, and people were more eager to help this drive move forward,” she said. “It’s crazy for me. We’ve been a part of things like this, and I feel like my whole life, so being able to actually put my foot in the water and donate something that will make a difference is exciting for me.”
Kahlea originally organized the event for students who were looking for another way to give back to the community. Her father, Lawren Ramos, works with CAPSLO, knew that some of the most needed items in homeless centers are socks, underwear, and toiletries.
Lawren, who is CAPSLO’s community service director, explains the nonprofit’s purpose: “CAPSLO is the community action agency for SLO County, and we are focused on fighting poverty and simply put, we are every day trying to help people and change lives.”
The socks donated to CAPSLO will go to the nonprofit’s homeless services division and outreach team.
“It is awesome to see my daughter [organize the drive], but it’s also the community of the school to see how giving and caring they are. It’s inspiring to me,” added Lawren. “It’s a powerful thing to watch happen. At the end of the day, its all about community and the people we are connected with, and ultimately, those people who are experiencing homelessness are just our neighbors. They are just different people in our community, and we just need to lift each other up as much as we can.”
In her second year of helping plan the event, Esquibel noticed that while it was easier to plan the sock drive this year, it did take the students a few days to get going on donating pairs of socks. But come the end of the week, they manages to raise 1,503 pairs of socks for CAPSLO.
Esquibel says its incredible to be a part of the sock drive, saying, “I feel like I’ve been a part of the student leadership bubble for a while, and we get to affect the students at our school, so it’s been a cool experience to affect the students at our school and be able to reach beyond the walls of our school and to reach the community more and bridge the two.”
Kahlea and Esquibel have been partners in crime planning the now annual sock drive for CAPSLO. But with Esquibel graduating next June, Kahlea will miss her.
“Jordan has been such an amazing person in my life, so it’s sad to have her leave,” said Kahlea. “Hopefully, once I graduate, it will continue down the line.”
Both Kahlea and Esquibel are looking forward to a bright future for the sock drive, with goals of increasing socks raised.
“I think we are excited with the momentum we have been able to build up within the last two years, and we are excited to see the effects of that. We are confident that it’s going to continue building up speed and growing,” said Esquibel.
As we enter into the “warming center season,” Lawren expresses the nonprofit’s need for not only goods like socks and underwear but for volunteers as well.
Ultimately, he is thankful for the THS student’s donation. “I am grateful for everyone here and the commitment they have made to make our community a better place,” he said.
Find more information and ways to contribute to CAPSLO here, capslo.org
Feature Image: From left: Lawren Ramos (CAPSLO), with the sock drive team Hazel Loftus, Addy Nixon, Jordan Esquibel, Kahlea Ramos, Marlie Handy and Evann Moore. Photo by Camille DeVaul