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Meet the Sock Police

When you wash and dry your socks, it's probably safe to say you don't put much thought into the process, until you lose another one in the dryer.

But, that's not the case for Kathy Francis, RN-BSN, at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital. Eight years ago, Francis was a patient at Dublin Methodist. Before she was discharged to return home, she noticed how comfortable her hospital socks were and how much life they had left in them, and wondered how many of them were thrown into the trash after a single patient use. 

Later, she still couldn't shake her sock feeling. What could be done with those socks? It seemed like such a waste of a wonderful thing. She would later find a solution at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Plain City, where she attended weekly services with her family.

"I asked our deacon if he could help me come up with a need for gently-used socks, and he just about jumped out of his own socks," said Francis.

Her deacon asked how many pairs she thought she could gather, and told her he would donate them to a local soup kitchen where those in need came for comfort and a warm meal.

Francis put her plan into action. Returning to work a short time later, she began collecting gently-used socks from patients. She even started a donation bin in her unit and encourages other associates to gather socks after they are left behind by patients.

"I like to think of myself as the Yellow Sock Police," said Francis.

Today, Francis estimates she collects about 50 pairs of socks each week. She then takes them home, washes them and donates them to her church. From there, they are taken to the soup kitchen where those in need can take a pair for themselves, or several pairs for their family.

To date, more than 15,000 pairs of socks have been donated due to Francis' selfless socks effort!

"I guess it just goes to show you that even the simplest of gestures can make a big impact. All you have to do is think outside of the box," she said. "And, it can start with something as simple as socks!" 

This story was originally published in an internal OhioHealth associate publication.

About OhioHealth

OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by Fortune as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 13 years in a row, 2007–2019.

Serving its communities since 1891, OhioHealth is a family of 30,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a system of 12 hospitals and more than 200 ambulatory sites, hospice, home health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.

OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Berger Hospital. For more information, please visit