Sock It To ME

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Here it is: the public art activism project we created right here at Phoenix Rising: Sock It To ME/cfs. Welcome!

A Game Changer

In her May 2009 speech The Why, Hillary Johnson, investigative journalist and author of Osler's Web, called on the ME/cfs community to come up with something that would make as meaningful a statement as the AIDS quilt. She said the quilt was a game changer for AIDS, and we need something similar. This triggered the idea of socks. We're hoping this could be a Game Changer.


Sock created by Jace... to see more examples check out the Show Us Your Socks thread.

Why we are taking a stand in our stocking feet:

The suffering caused by ME/CFS is mostly invisible. People won’t see us at our worst: many of us with ME/CFS are housebound or even bedridden by the disease. Rarely putting on shoes to walk in the world, we live in our socks. Now we’re turning our socks into banners. We can’t hit the streets and march but our socks—and a few healthy friends—can march for us, calling attention to the urgent need for funding for research and treatment, and for action towards curing victims and to stop the disease’s spread.

Anyone can create and send in a sock to represent themselves or a loved one with the disease. Each sock will be decorated to honor the person it represents, just as AIDS quilt squares each represent individual HIV-AIDS sufferers. Those who can't make socks themselves can get a blank to decorate, or can ask a volunteer to decorate a sock for them. Socks, gathered into a long “garland” with others, will be displayed at conferences, events, marches and parades to make ME/CFS more visible.

Project Underway

So now the sock project is underway. We have a website under construction and looking pretty good! We have an address for receiving socks and a volunteer to help assemble the socks into "garlands" to be carried in marches or hung up in displays---perhaps at the Washington DC plaza one day, as the AIDS quilt has been displayed! We have a volunteer coordinator, a publicity coordinator, and lots of people who want to help in smaller ways. And we have us, all of us at Phoenix Rising.

Getting close to Launch Time!

The project officially launches on ME/CFS Awareness Day, May 12, 2010. We're getting out press releases calling on ME/CFS sufferers and healthy supporters alike to take part in this project.

To-Do List

This list will be updated as we move the project along.

Please scroll down to post #6 below, and see "Next Steps."


If you can pitch in with knitting mini sock lapel pins, sewing sock blanks, scouting locations for displays and obtaining permits, getting the word out to media outlets, line up some sponsorship, or any of many ways... email the volunteer coordinator at SockIt2MEcfs@gmail.com with VOLUNTEER in the subject line. That'll help us keep from duplicating efforts: having two people contact the same sponsor and such.

Post ideas here: we can keep on generating ideas to move the project ahead and keep it moving. So if you're not up for being the Location Scout, but you have a good idea for a location, please post it. If you're not up for actually contacting a possible corporate sponsor but you have a great idea for a good one, post your idea. And we can all try to match up ideas with people who have the energy to see them through.

And of course, we can all help get the word out. There will soon be a Facebook group for Sock It To ME, and a twitter and all that good stuff. We can start telling our friends and family, linking the website to them, spreading the word so there will actually be something happening in time for the May 12 release!

If you are making/decorating a sock...please get a photo of yourself doing so if you'd be willing to have it included in the website and/or press packages.

Got video or audio skills? You could make a 50-second PSA to send to media outlets. I could help script one but don't have production equipment or digital skills.

Got a great address book? We'll need contact names and addresses to send the press release and other materials to.

Got an inside line with Dr. Donnica, Klimas, Bell or Peterson? Maybe you could ask for a doctor's endorsement of the project. Please let me know if want to you do this so I won't duplicate the effort.

Are you a freelance writer? You might consider writing an article on the project and seeing if you could get it published anywhere from a local newspaper to an international web magazine or wherever.

Discuss... this thread is as much for us to share enthusiasm for the project as to get the nuts and bolts accomplished. So please go ahead and post about the theme you're working on for your own sock, or your friends' giggling reaction to the idea, or another fabulous Sock Pun you just came up with. I just ask that nobody derail the project by suggesting that it's the wrong idea, or that something entirely different would be better, or whatever, because it's past that early project-brainstorming point. Time, money and energy have been invested, the project is a go.

Thanks! For all the discussion and ideas, for the energy we all share here, for having something to do at last, for getting to be a part of a creative force to fight our disease, I am grateful to Phoenix Rising and everyone here.

~ Creek


P.S. Somebody who is not a native speaker of English asked me in a pm, what does "sock it to me" mean? I hadn't realized that it wouldn't be common enough to be familiar to most English speakers (even as a second language). It is a very common idiomatic expression.

To "sock" can mean to hit, as with fists. So if you socked it to M. E. you would be striking a blow against the disease. Etymology Online tells us:
sock (v.) 1700, "to beat, hit," of uncertain origin. To sock it to (someone) first recorded 1877.

But "sock it to me" is familiar to many people from the song RESPECT (written by Otis Redding but made wildly popular by Aretha Franklin) which has the refrain,
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me;
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB
sock it to me sock it to me sock it to me...

Here, TCB = Take Care of Business, and "sock it to me" has the meaning, "lay it on me," "give it to me straight," or, in plainest English, either "tell me" or "let me have it." So Aretha was singing, "Take care of business, and let me have my proper respect." Appropriate sentiments to our illness, I think many would agree.

The popular1960s US TV show, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," played with these alternate meanings---"tell me" or "hit me," as a running gag.

I'm glad I was asked. Now anyone else who is wondering will know! :)
 
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Project Links

SockIt2ME/cfs website: http://www.sockit2mecfs.org/

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=107143982660690&ref=ts

Instructions for sending socks: http://www.sockit2mecfs.org/blog/the-socks/send-socks/

I finally got our CafePress web store up and running. I'll be adding a few more things over the next day or 2, but we've got buttons and t shirts and coffee cups all ready :D

The Sock Shoppe

And thanks everyone for all the awesome PR ideas!
 
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Sock Ideas

some concepts for sock decorating....

The XMRV molecule
blue ribbons
black ribbons for deceased
forget-me-not flowers
travel patches from places you went when well


possible mediums:

embroidery or needlepoint
applique'
quilting
sequins
beads
iron-on-transfer photos
knitting or crochet
fabric paints


will list more...
 
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Display Location Ideas

Washington DC Mall

In front of CDC


This project is getting really exciting. Thanks to all who have been involved for their hard work.

An idea for a location site: Times Square in NYC. I don't know whether space would be available to display a long garland, but perhaps short garlands could be prepared to be held in Times Square during the hours for the morning shows--GMA, Today, and The Early Show. Even the short garlands should be eye-catching and might be picked up on camera.
... will list more as we think of them...
 
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Possible Sponsors

Possible sponsors: We'll add to this list as we go along.

Notes on attracting sponsors: we can offer them recognition on the website, facebook page, and printed materials available at sock displays. Any more ideas to attract and entice them?


Sock Companies
Sock Dreams
Sock It To Me (yes, it turns out there's a sock retailer named that!)
Possible sponsors:
This company is outside of Fort Payne, but it is in the same county: http://www.bamasocks.com/ Which brings up the idea that the county government might want to help.

A recently-started organic sock company in Ft. Payne: http://www.zkano.com/ I hate to say it, but that Gina at this company looks like one of us.

Here is another: http://socksitis.net/
And another: http://www.wyshugart.com/default.htm
Yarn Companies
Hysterical Woman said:
Lion Brand Yarn
Dharma Trading Company

Printer Sponsor?
We could ask a sponsor to print dye-cut socks with ME/cfs info on one side and Sock It To ME/cfs info on the other side. Anyone know a printer?
 
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Next Steps Get it? Steps, like, in our socks? Yeah.

Next Steps
Can you do some of these?

socks
Dream up what a sock would look like, that represents you. What images, activities, symbols represent you?
Make your own sock OR request a "sock blank" and decorate it OR request that a volunteer decorate one for you.
Send it in with a completed Sock Submission form (found on the website).

links
Check out the website.
Join the Facebook group.
Send links to both of those to friends, family, colleagues, your doctors maybe?

knit, sew, decorate
Make and/or decorate socks for others.
Knit tiny doll-size socks (pattern will be provided) to make into lapel pins.

help wanted: publicity help, media emails!
Does anyone have email addresses for major media outlets (tv networks, news services, etc)? We need valid emails and contact names to send the Press Release to.

help wanted: morning TV personalities
We need someone(s) able to stand around in the morning chill in Times Square holding up a small garland of socks with a banner, to try to get on one of the big network morning TV shows. They must be willing to catch the attention of program hosts and answer questions about the project and the disease.

help wanted: location scouts
Research locations, find out who handles permits for displays and/or assemblies there, find out if there's a permit fee and what paperwork needs to be done.
 
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BEG

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I am woefully behind I'm sure, but I quit following the ever-so-long sock thread. I was/am still waiting to hear if there is a (sewing) sock pattern that we need to follow. I am so ready to sew. Thanks in advance. BE G
 

gracenote

All shall be well . . .
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The socks project now has a Facebook page. Please join to help get the word out to your family and friends. Also, you could link the website SockIt2MEcfs.org from your Facebook page to direct them there. When we get to the point where socks are traveling around and going on display, the dates and locations of displays will be published on the website and on the Facebook page, along with news of any milestones.
I'm not finding this on facebook.
 
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Possible sponsors: We'll add to this list as we go along.
Notes on attracting sponsors: we can offer them recognition on the website, facebook page, and printed materials available at sock displays.

Sock Dreams
Sock It To Me (yes, it turns out there's a sock retailer named that!)

Printer Sponsor? We could ask a sponsor to print dye-cut socks with ME/cfs info on one side and Sock It To ME/cfs info on the other side. Anyone know a printer?
Hi creek,

Great project - thanks for your work. For possible sponsors you might want to consider Lion Brand Yarn. They are a big company and make sock yarn along with a multitude of other types. When sending a sock into the project, I hope to send in a hand knitted one.

Thanks,

Maxine
 
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Well done, creek.

I wanna send you a sock. Where should it be mailed to?
Be sure to check the Send Socks tab at the project website for specifications. We're trying to keep them somewhat uniform in length so they'll display well (one length for children and another for adults). Also it gives useful submission info like, if you want you can enclose a photo and a paragraph of info to add to the database when you send your sock.

The address to send to is: Sock it 2 ME/cfs 120 State Ave. NE #216, Olympia, Wa. 98501-8212
 
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Possible sponsors:
This company is outside of Fort Payne, but it is in the same county: http://www.bamasocks.com/ Which brings up the idea that the county government might want to help.

A recently-started organic sock company in Ft. Payne: http://www.zkano.com/ I hate to say it, but that Gina at this company looks like one of us.

Here is another: http://socksitis.net/

And another: http://www.wyshugart.com/default.htm

Thanks, Tina! You may not be perky anymore but you're still sharp. Adding these excellent ideas to the Possible Sponsors post now.
 
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I am woefully behind I'm sure, but I quit following the ever-so-long sock thread. I was/am still waiting to hear if there is a (sewing) sock pattern that we need to follow. I am so ready to sew. Thanks in advance. BE G
The webmaster is hurrying to catch up with the preannouncement. Sorry! I was hoping the time was right to start a new thread since everyone was finding the old one cumbersome, and with all the posts I snagged on page 1 here, I should be able to keep pertinent info at the top, no matter how long this thread grows.

So, everything isn't quite in place yet. But the pattern information will soon be added here: http://www.sockit2mecfs.org/blog/the-socks/send-socks/.
 
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Hi creek,

Great project - thanks for your work. For possible sponsors you might want to consider Lion Brand Yarn. They are a big company and make sock yarn along with a multitude of other types. When sending a sock into the project, I hope to send in a hand knitted one.

Thanks,

Maxine
Thanks Maxine. Great Sponsor idea. This reminds me that a couple of other yarn companies were mentioned in the old thread, so I'll try and grab them when I comb through it----soon.

(Now it's bath time. I'm smelling like the kind of creek where you get no paddle. Back soon!)
 

HopingSince88

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Hello Creekfeet,

I had two thoughts:

1) There is another thread (http://www.forums.aboutmecfs.org/sh...rch-via-Pepsi-Refresh-project&highlight=pepsi) - that is about grants from pepsi. There are grants available and I thought it would not be a bad idea for you (or someone that knows how to do this type of grant thing) to apply for funding the Sock It To Me campaign...use the money for shipping and installing the exhibit, for example. The website is here for anyone that wishes to review and make use of it: refresheverything.com

2) Do we have a theme song? How about Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT" ? As I recall there is a refrain that says "Sock it to me."
 
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Thanks, HopingSince88! Pepsi and Aretha both sound good.

On the Pepsi thing, I used to do grant writing myself but haven't been able to since getting sick; however maybe I can muster enough brain power to comprehend how to apply. I'll try and look it over.

RESPECT is a great song and sure enough there's socks in there!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Take care, TCB ohhhh (Sock it to me,etc.)

(The most common definition of TCB = Taking Care of Business.)

Seems perfect for ME/cfs and the sock campaign.

Anyone else with votes for RESPECT or preference for another theme song? And how do we incorporate a theme song?

Just found another place where socks are linked with ME/cfs:

"On breaks, I took brief walks. I bought new shoes -- I'd been lying around in socks for years - and discovered that my feet had shrunk two sizes. I had lived for so long in silence and isolation that the world was a sensory explosion. "

~ Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit, in A Sudden Illness -- How My Life Changed
 

frenchtulip

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THank you and possible location site

This project is getting really exciting. Thanks to all who have been involved for their hard work.

An idea for a location site: Times Square in NYC. I don't know whether space would be available to display a long garland, but perhaps short garlands could be prepared to be held in Times Square during the hours for the morning shows--GMA, Today, and The Early Show. Even the short garlands should be eye-catching and might be picked up on camera.
 

frenchtulip

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Pepsi money: The Sock-It-To-Me project should be a good candidate for the Pepsi money. It looks like they like the projects that require time and effort on the part of those involved in the project and many people making a sock is definitely some work (not to mention all the preliminary work in setting up the project and all the work in promoting and displaying the garlands).