By LIBBY CLUETT
SANTO – An annual drive to provide fun, colorful socks to hospitalized children this holiday season is under way throughout Palo Pinto County.
For the seventh year, Santo resident Megan Gulliford encourages citizens to think about children who are ill and will spend part or all of the holiday season in the hospital.
Gulliford knows what it was like to spend weeks at a time going in and out of the sterile hospital environment. She was born with a rare heart disorder and, at age 4, underwent open-heart surgery.
She had a hard time recovering and the medical staff suggested the Gullifords find something to help perk up Megan.
While in the hospital, she was given a pair of multi-colored socks and she remembers loving the socks that helped enhance her monochromatic surroundings. The socks were “Something special and personal to take her mind off of the procedures and discomfort,” her mother, who now helps her with the collections, recalled.
In 2005, on one of her periodic visits to Cook Children’s Medical Center for tests and treatment, an idea came to Gulliford. She thought about the children who have to spend long stretches of time there and how much “they need something to comfort them.”
Recalling the crazy socks that perked her up, Gulliford decided she could give back by collecting crazy socks for hospitalized children. Despite health issues, year after year she has delivered socks.
2011 was a particularly daunting year for Megan and her family, according to her mother, Michelle. She suffered a stroke and continues therapy even today.
Through all her trials she continues to want to do for others and asks citizens to join her in this effort, by liking the “Crazy Socks for Sick Children” Facebook page or by challenging a civic group, class, club or office to help collect socks for children with chronic health issues or accidents.
Gulliford collects new crazy socks for boys and girls, from infant to adult sizes. To contribute to the cause, purchase a new pair of crazy socks and drop them off at any of the following locations by Dec. 3:
• Mineral Wells – Mineral Wells Index, at 300 S.E. 1st Ave.; Countryside Therapy Group at 315 S.E. 6th Ave.; or Cowboy Church of Mineral Wells, which meets Sundays at the Palo Pinto County Livestock Association Expo Center.
• Millsap – Millsap Middle School (attention Beta Club), at 201 W. Brazos St.
• Santo – Santo ISD, at 406 S. Farm-to-Market Road 2201; Coffee Creek RV Resort, at 13429 S. U.S. Highway 281; or Palo Pinto County Cowboy Church, at 2731 S. Farm-to-Market Road 129 Santo.
• Weatherford – Parker County Flooring, at 708 Palo Pinto St. in Weatherford,
• Lipan – Patillo Baptist Church, at 4791 FM 2803 and U.S. 281.
By LIBBY CLUETT
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