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Rocky Mountain Socks For Japan

We are all touched by the devastation we see in Japan right now. Now there is a way you can help. There is a move afoot in our area and far beyond to bring comfort and relief to the Japanese victims of the quake and tsunami. Allenspark native and Estes Park HS graduate, Jason Kelley, now living in Japan, has started the project called Socks for Japan, which allows us each to make a personal difference in the life of someone who is suffering.

Jason describes the project: “All human beings are comforted by a fresh, clean pair of socks. Other advantages socks offer this operation: their sizes are easy, they don’t break, people need lots of them in disastrous times without running water, people can keep them forever and remember that somebody from far away cared. Please do not send any other items of clothing, food, etc. just socks, but go ahead and choose nice ones that will brighten somebody’s day.”

Anyone can join in the community collection effort by taking a donation of socks to the Estes Park Library or the transfer station in Allenspark.

Or donors can go online at and and send socks on their own. Churches and community groups are invited and encouraged to do their own project or join this one.

Please follow the guidelines below to participate in the community effort.

• Donations must be made by April 31st.

• Bring new socks for men, women, children- any size, any color.

• If you can – package each pair separately in a plastic ziplock type bag.

• Enclose a personal, short care letter with name and contact information in each ziplock bag with socks.

• Either write on the outside of the ziplock bag or insert into each bag a piece of paper identifying one of these categories: man, woman, boy, girl, baby.

• If you are able – include a small donation of $.25 for each pair of socks you donate, The cost to mail will be about $8.00 per lb. – include whatever you think will cover the weight of your sock donation. Postage for a recently sent box was $75.

• Not a shopper? You can make a donation towards mailing costs and socks. For any donation of more than $5 contact: for information on how to make the donation. (All funds will be used only for mailing and purchase of socks. All helping hands are volunteer).

• If you donate more than one pair of socks, please put them in a larger brown or plastic shopping bag with your personal information in case there are any questions. We will not pass your personal information on.

• Drop off your sock donation to the Estes Valley Library or the Allenspark Transfer Station during business hours.

Information on personal care letters:

Jason say: “Enclose a short care letter. Japanese people treasure letters, especially ones from foreigners. Victims of the 1995 Hanshin quake in Kobe said that care letters were among the most uplifting items they received. This will enable us to hand each recipient of your socks a letter from you. Please keep your letter brief. Include your contact info, which recipients can use to respond later if they would like. No guarantee on that, of course, and any replies will probably arrive months or possibly more than a year later. We’ll translate replies from Japanese to English.”

To write and translate your own letter: Jason says, “You can save us time by enclosing a translation of your letter into Japanese, made easily at Google Translate, then copy, paste, and print the result to attach to each copy of your English version.” You can also go to Jason’s care letter site (It is very inspiring): and a translation “angel” will help correct your Google translate message. On the web there are also other sites for translating.

There will be some prepared letters at the collection drop off for you to sign if you are unable to write and translate your own. Sign your name and contact information and put into ziplock bag with your socks.

Thanks for caring and taking action, your thoughtful gift will make a difference.

Check Jason’s websites –; - and his newsletter for updates on Japan’s recovery.

For questions or donation information on how to contribute more than $5.00 email to Candace Chapin at; for sock pickup call Liz Kelly-303-747- 2403.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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