By Kate Anslinger
Aiden Blinn-Morse is rightfully described as an “old soul,” by his parents Stephen Blinn and Brad Morse. Two years ago the energetic young man helped his parents launch a compassionate project that gives to the homeless people on the streets of Boston.
Nearly four years ago, Aiden, now just 10 years old, lost his mother. What he learned from her and wants to continue is to help his mother who often gave to those in need. Now Aiden’s “Socks for Sally” helps those on the streets stay warm.
Aiden and his brother David, along with their parents, spend Christmas Eve packing bags with socks, gloves, hats and blankets.
“After some research, we discovered that hats and socks are the most needed,” said Brad Morse, the boy’s uncle and guardian.
On Christmas morning, the family treks into Boston to distribute the bags to homeless men and women who spend the night in doorways, unable to gain access to a bed in a shelter.
“The recipients of the bags are so grateful,” said Stephen Blinn. “They respond with gratitude and show their thanks with hugs. We want to teach the boys the importance of compassion and being grateful for what they have.”
The bags are distributed first thing in the morning, even before the boys receive their own gifts from Santa, teaching them that it is more important to give than to receive. Last year, the family of four distributed 25 bags, but as word spread, people opened their hearts and the bags grew to 75 this year. “Family and friends from all over the country have been sending supplies and money,” said Aiden proudly.
MSA Mortgage has donated bags for the supplies and a family friend designed a logo for “Socks for Sally”. So far this year the family has received 150 pairs of socks, 30 scarfs, 40 pair of gloves and 25 blankets.
While they plan to keep this a family tradition, there have been other families who have happily ridden on their coattails, starting an annual tradition of their own. In fact, they recently heard that a family in Florida had begun the tradition after hearing about the project through a friend.
“It’s similar to the tradition that we have of going together as a family to pick out our Christmas tree,” said Blinn. “Packing bags on Christmas Eve and distributing them on Christmas day is something we will do every year as part of our tradition.”
They’ve stepped it up a bit and added sandwiches, granola bars and vegetables in this year’s bags.
“I hope to add gift cards too, so the people can pick out fresh food at someplace easy in the city like Dunkin Donuts,” said Aiden, as he explained excitedly about future plans his project.