Family Christmas Tradition Grows from Misfit Sock Laundry Pile to National Anti- Bullying Movement

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The Misfit Sock Movement Boosts Hope, Joy and GRATITUDE During the Holidays and Throughout the Year

Our daughters really believed in their young hearts that the misfit socks on our laundry room floor had a greater purpose, and they used their creativity to unleash the potential of these socks. Over the years we’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support

Fifteen years ago a New England family found the true spirit of Christmas in a pile of “misfit” socks – those left unmatched on the laundry room floor – and inspired not just a Christmas tradition but a national movement encouraging people to celebrate differences and take a stand against bullying by wearing their misfit socks.

Today those misfit socks are celebrated, repurposed, and reused in support of individuals everywhere. Sports teams from the UNLV Lady Rebels, Air Force Falcons and Boston College Eagles to the Girl Scouts of America and thousands of communities in between have embraced the idea that something seemingly worthless has amazing value and purpose if given the chance.

“Our daughters really believed in their young hearts that the misfit socks on our laundry room floor had a greater purpose, and they used their creativity to unleash the potential of these socks. Over the years we’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support for the idea," said Karen Kiefer, author and creator of The Misfit Sock and the Misfit Sock Youth Empowerment Anti-Bullying Movement.

In an effort to make sure those socks felt loved again, this family dressed up their misfit socks, filled them with candy, jingle bells, pine cones and holiday messages and offered them as gifts of hope, joy and peace to friends and family at Christmas. A tradition began and over a decade later and thousands of misfit socks shared, that simple and powerful offering became the impetus for the children’s book, a family Christmas tradition to share with others and a national empowerment movement.

The transformative story of the Misfit Sock is born; book now includes packaged set with sock and Wish Cards.

Inspired by her children, Karen Kiefer set out to chronicle the story of the misfits, and engaged a Belgian illustrator Kathy De Wit to bring the “misfit socks” to life. The book chronicles the transformative plight of one lonely misfit sock that has lost its perfect match during the laundry cycle. The sock is instantly labeled a "misfit" and thrown into a misfit sock pile. Forgotten, marginalized and alone, the misfit sock loses all hope until it meets the magnificent spirit of Christmas on the laundry room floor. In a jingle, the sock is filled with love and purpose and is magically transformed into the perfect gratitude sock to thank Santa, his elves and reindeer.

The book, now a gift set, is packaged with its own misftit sock and blank Misfit Sock Wish Cards that children can personalize, hang on the mantel and fill with daily hand-written Misfit Sock Wish Cards leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the misfit sock is transformed into the gratitude sock stuffed with goodies for Santa, his elves and the reindeer. Santa enjoys the gratitude offerings and reads all of the child's wishes, knowing enough to leave the sock behind for the child for next year. The misfit sock tradition continues for all who continue to believe.

Misfit University provides a curriculum template for any organization seeking to empower, inspire and lead

Later, the book’s strong themes of marginalization and empowerment inspired communities to form around The Misfit Sock and its messages. Today, communities, teachers, coaches and parents utilize a companion curriculum developed online at Misfit University.com (http://www.misfituniversity.com) and groups may customize their own Misfit Sock Angels service project. What began as a simple story is now a grassroots youth empowerment movement that asks our world to celebrate what makes us different and take a stand against bullying by wearing misfit socks.

The children’s story was also the impetus for the virtual Million Misfit Sock March on Friday October 24, 2014. The March, was a call for people to wear misfit socks on that day with purpose to celebrate what makes each person different and to take a stand against bullying. This year, close to 500,000 people participated. The Misfit Sock Movement and its guided curriculum engages school, colleges, communities, and sport teams throughout the year in efforts to build stronger teams and use their powerful collective voices in support of finding purpose and value in our differences. In addition to the March each October, The Misfit Sock Movement hosts Misfit MARCH Madness in March and ongoing events throughout the year, serving as catalyst for conversation and action for youth empowerment and anti-bullying.

Girl Scout troops from across the country have embraced the Misfit Sock activities, which align with the organization’s mission. Said Gretchen Grierson, co-leader of Troops 77 and 493 of Southern Las Vegas, Nevada, “Our girls wanted to build excitement as they raised awareness for the mission of the March. With the support of our school principal at Saint Anne Catholic School-Las Vegas the girls created a Misfit Sock March Day, selling a special lunch, inviting all to wear their best misfit socks, and ended the day with teaching lessons about bullying and kindness.” Girl Scouts led the younger grades (Pre-K – 3) through interactive projects about bullying; older grades (4th - 8th) wrote their misfit messages/experiences and attached to our misfit clothesline at the school. Through the school effort and letters to local businesses the girls were able to bring the “celebrating your differences” messages to approximately 2,000 new Misfits in the Southern Nevadan Community. They have now adapted misfit socks as part of their uniform! The girls used the effort to raise money for the local Ronald McDonald House, garnering enough funds preparing meals for the families and doing it while wearing their misfit socks.

The Misfit Sock launches 2014 Holiday Season!

The Misfit Sock Gift Set is sold at selected bookstores and online at http://www.themisfitsock.com or http://www.misfituniversity.com. Part of the proceeds helps raise awareness and funds for youth empowerment/anti-bullying causes. Each Gift Set includes a storybook, a misfit sock with hanging ribbon, Misfit Sock WISH cards and a burlap pouch to carry the WISH cards.

For the first time, Misfit Sock Santa will visit the Framingham, Massachusetts Barnes & Noble the weekend of November 21, 22, 23rd, delivering messages of hope, inspiration and gratitude and celebrating everyone's "inner misfit."

For more information on The Misfit Sock, other misfit projects please call 774-286-9987 or email Misfit Headquarters: themisfitsock(at)gmail(dot)com.

How will YOU embrace it?

Find the MISFIT SOCKS on social media: like our Facebook page, The Misfit Sock or The Million Misfit Sock March follow us on Twitter @themisfitsock or follow us on Pinterest at The Misfit Sock.

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Karen Kiefer

Meghan Gross
@misfitsock
since: 03/2011
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