SALT LAKE CITY — Since she was a tiny girl, 16-year old Ashley Mower remembers the feeling of warmth and happiness she got whenever she visited her great-grandmother Marcel "Nanna" Montgomery's home.
The visits were nearly always capped off with a gift, something to make her smile.
"Whenever we showed up at Nanna's without warm socks, she and my Savta (grandmother) would always say, 'Where are your socks?' 'You're feet will freeze!', Ashley said. "And usually we would leave her house with some kind of fuzzy, furry, oversize socks. Not always new, but always...socks."
Ashley and her family got socks for birthdays and holidays and for no reason at all. Or so it seemed at the time. But as Ashley begins to understand more about her own life, she realizes those socks were sewn with purpose and meaning.
So too is the idea that has sprung from those gifts — Socks From Nanna, a charity to keep people's toes and hearts warm at the holidays. "They always helped me feel safe, secure and loved," beams Ashley.
On Thanksgiving Day, Ashley, her mom Rachel Burton along with Ashley's brothers and sisters, handed out scores of socks at The Road Home Shelter in downtown Salt Lake City.
In the weeks ahead they will take nearly 500 recently donated socks to others in need. The goal is 1000 pairs of socks by Christmas, mending the hole in your sole and your soul.