FOCUS OF LOTS OF SOCKS: The focus of our campaign is to raise awareness of Down syndrome in the Galway community, as well as raising some funds through donations to Lots of Socks Galway.  2019 was the first year we ran Lots of Socks and we plan for it to grow bigger over the coming years. More info on Lots of Socks Galway, how it works, its founder Ruta whose son Adam is the inspiration behind these miniature hand knitted socks, can be found here https://www.facebook.com/LotsofSocksGalway/

THE BACKGROUND:  Founder Ruta tells her story….The Down Syndrome Association in Lithuania ran an once off awareness campaign in 2018 during which they were handing out little socks that were knitted by locals. Me being from Lithuania wanted to help if I could so I asked my mum to knit some socks and send it to them. She did. And she kept knitting even after the campaign. When she told me she had a bag of little socks for them for the next year I just couldn’t bring myself to say oh, they don’t need them anymore and instead said, you know what, send them to me, to Ireland I’ll do something with them.  Since then, many knitters came to help, we’ve had socks sent to us from Dublin, Monaghan, Cork, Wexford, all over Ireland. We also received socks from Slovakia this year and some are coming from Australia.

WHY SOCKS? – some say chromosomes look a little bit like pairs of socks. People with Down Syndrome have an extra copy of the 21st chromosome.

 We all are different – extra chromosomes or not.  To represent that we choose different colours.

 It’s one in a million designer pieces, handmade by local people or if you’re lucky – your socks will be from overseas! You will be also supporting Galway’s Down Syndrome Community by wearing them, sharing pictures and donating to the campaign.
Funds raised in support of Voices for Down Syndrome Galway, speech therapy project.

2021 CAMPAIGN:  This year w
have added a poster campaign to Lots of Socks Galway, pairing a well known Galway person with a member of Down Syndrome Galway, both wearing a pair of the little hand knitted socks pinned to their clothing.   Minister Anne Rabbitte and Minister Hildegarde Naughton, along with Padraic Mannion Galway Hurling Team Captain, Orlaith McGrath Galway Camogie Team and Laura Ahearne Galway Football Team got involved in our campaign. which we are very excited about. The posters will form part of a month-long visual campaign at a selection of bus stop shelters around Galway city and suburb, across social media and GBFM.
KNITTERS: Lots of Socks would not be possible without the support of the knitters (from all over Ireland and beyond), we estimate we will have approx 5000 pairs of knitted socks to share and wear this October, all voluntary hand knitted. This is a community effort and many of the knitters have indicated that knitting the little socks was something positive to do during lock-down and gave them a purpose to focus on..
Also Ruta’s mum sadly passed away last November, the little socks are also a tribute to her legacy, which we hope will grow bigger each year.
SUPPORTERS: This year we are also very lucky to be supported not only by businesses giving us their platform to sell the socks but also by a workforce of volunteers in preparation for this campaign. Thousands of socks had to be paired, pinned, packed and distributed to different locations, while the charity is run by parents only and it would be impossible to do it all without external support.
A big thank you to all our sponsors, supporters and volunteers, with a special mention to McD’s and Hickeys Galway, Alex Zarodov Photography, Maya Noonan Photography.
YOU CAN GET THEM AT:  The little socks will be available in various outlets throughout Galway city and County during the month of October and we expect the demand will be very high.  The socks are individually packed and supporters can make a donation of their choice into the box or through the QR code on the accompanying card.  It’s important to note that there is no price on them, it’s up to everyone to donate whatever they can but also it’s very important to wear them.

LIST OF PARTICIPATING OUTLETS (to date): full list of partipating outlets can be found @lotsofsocksgalway
McD’s Garden & Home,
Galway Crystal,
Hickeys Fabrics  Galway,
McCambridges of Galway,
McGreal’s XL Lurgan Park and McGreals Mace,
The Neighbourhood Cafe,
Tangles Hair Salon,
Noel Maher Hair Company,
Rooney Solicitors,
Joyce’s Supermarkets,
PoppySeed Gourmet Cafes
ALL Joyce’s Supermarkets throughout Co Galway,
Athenry – Athenry Credit Union and it’s branches in Ballygar, Kilkerrin, Kinvara, Menlough, Portumna
 Just Kidz Athenry,
Clarinbridge – Poppy Seed Cafe,
Gort –  Quinn’s Pharmacy,
Loughrea – McD’s,
Moycullen – Wild Way Crossfit Regan’s Bar,
Oranmore:   Joyce’s, Noel Maher Hair Co, Horkans Garden Centre Poppy Seed Cafe,
Tynagh – Harneys SPAR Tynagh