The Outlet socks it to them

Michael Phelon, founder of The Outlet in Springfield, believes in helping others. The Outlet serves fatherless boys and young men through mentoring and helps them make responsible life decisions and realize their dreams. Phelon is also teaching them to make helping others a part of their lives. For the past seven years the boys have collected and distributed clean socks to "neighbors in need."

Hundreds of new men's, women's and youth socks were collected during "Socktober" and will now be distributed to local agencies, such as Inner City Mission, Helping Hands, Washington Street Mission and St. John's Breadline. Why socks? People who spend a lot of time living on the streets have a huge challenge to keep their feet warm and dry. Socks wear out quickly. Warm, dry socks are one of the most important clothing items during the winter months. Numerous organizations partnered with The Outlet to collect socks: Cherry Hills Church, Springfield Running Center, Koke Mill Christian Church, Green Certified West, Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ, West Side Christian Church, Dr. Robert Burris and State Senator Doris Turner. Community members and organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise, also donated socks.

Michael Phelon and The Outlet have led the way to help neighbors in need and to inspire others to consider how to help the less fortunate during the Thanksgiving and holiday season. For more information about The Outlet go to