NOVEMBER 2020 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 41
SOCKING IT TO ‘EM
While some kids may mistake posting
hashtags on social media as activism,
this Long Island teenager is putting in
real-world work toward helping those
less fortunate in their time of need.
After seeing homeless people on the
street in New York City as a child, Jackson
Southerland researched the biggest
needs of those living in shelters
and used his inspiration to launch an
annual sock drive. To date, the 13-yearold
has donated hundreds of pairs of
socks to the Long Island Coalition for
“Be grateful because you never know
what can happen,” the 13-year-old
Great Neck resident told WCBS-TV.
“Your mom or dad could lose their job
and you could be in the same position.”
In 2018, Nassau and Suffolk counties
had a combined 3,868 homeless people
— about as many as there are residents
in the Village of Lloyd Harbor on LI’s
Gold Coast — a drop of nearly 3 percent
from the year prior. Last year’s figures
were not immediately available, but
homelessness rates are expected to
rise this year due to coronavirus
For his efforts, the Long Island Coalition
for the Homeless honored Southerland
with the Amityville-based
nonprofit’s Unsung Hero Award. The
8th grader is slated to accept the award
on Nov. 18 at the group’s 32nd Annual
Keys for the Homeless Conference,
which will be held virtually this year
due to COVID-19. He was also chosen as
a featured speaker at the nonprofit’s
2019 Level Up Youth Empowerment
Conference last year and is a Dare to
Care Ambassador at his middle school.
Not that he’s resting on his laurels.
Next month, Jackson will conduct a
sock drive in his community to be
distributed to the homeless during
Christmas, just as he does every year.
He also recently partnered with a store
in Brooklyn that provides services to
the homeless and donated 20 pairs of
sneakers from his personal sneaker
Jackson Southerland launched a sock drive for the homeless.
ACTS OF KINDNESS
RONALD FATOULLAH & ASSOCIATES
Elder Law and Estate Planning
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