GORHAM — Many community organizations, shelters and charitable clothing groups have noted a lack of socks among the most pressing issues facing their continuing commitment to serving those in need this winter. What has become an annual January tradition at St. Anne Parish in Gorham takes on even more importance and relevance in 2021.

“The parish is collecting socks as well as mittens, gloves, scarves, and hats for those in need, especially the homeless,” said Fr. Lou Phillips, pastor of the parish. “It’s a drive that we’ve had for many years and it has been quite successful.”

Over the course of time, parishioners have donated thousands and thousands of pairs of socks for community members in need.

The recipients, ever grateful, have included veterans groups, shelters, food pantries, and local organizations such as Amistad, Preble Street, and St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen in Portland.

“We’ve also distributed the collected items to schools in Buxton, Gorham, and Limington, as needed,” said Teresa Ledue of St. Anne Parish.

The collection takes place in the narthex of St. Anne, located on 299 Main Street in Gorham. Warm socks for men, women, and children as well as hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens are needed. Donations can be dropped off before and after all January Masses (Saturdays 5:30 p.m.; Sundays 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9 a.m.).  

Items can also be delivered during the St. Anne Knights of Columbus Fish Dinner on Friday, January 15. The dinner of baked haddock, Maine mashed potatoes, coleslaw, vegetables, and desserts will be offered in drive-thru format from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are only $12 and can be purchased at www.gorhamknights.org or by calling 207-550-1320.

The effort to assist those in need is ever present at Maine parishes. One inspiring initiative after another, and all done for the right reasons.

“We do not give to be recognized,” said Ledue. “Only to provide for the need.”