Follett Press Releases

Follett Partners with University of Notre Dame and the Center for the Homeless to Help SOCK Out Homelessness


WESTCHESTER, IL, Jan 26, 2015 – Following the conclusion of the SOCK Out Homelessness campaign, Follett’s Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore is donating $12,649 to the Center for the Homeless (CFH), South Bend. SOCK Out Homelessness, which ran from October through December, promoted the donation of a portion of the bookstore’s proceeds from each Under Armour sock purchase to the CFH.

In addition to the financial contribution, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore also delivered more than 500 pairs of socks. While not part of the original fundraising campaign, many customers opted to further their contribution by purchasing and subsequently donating their new pair of socks to the CFH.

The SOCK Out Homelessness campaign is part of an ongoing relationship held between the University of Notre Dame and the CFH to help break the cycles of poverty, dependency and homelessness. Follett, and the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, joined this partnership in 1988 with the advent of an internship program, providing guests at the CFH an opportunity to transition into the workplace. Subsequently a number of guests were offered full-time employment.

The bookstore also helped the CFH with marketing and selling its Fighting Irish Impact Poster series over several years, which proved to be critical in helping the CFH become financially self-sustaining. University of Notre Dame’s Vice President for University Relations Louis Nanni, former director at the CFH, said the following:

"In the early days of the Center for the Homeless, we were constantly filled with doubt. The depth and diversity of needs that walked into the building far exceeded our ability to respond. The Center was deeply in debt, every two weeks borrowing from the University of Notre Dame to keep things afloat. We did not achieve solvency until midway through our fourth year, and Follett and the Hammes Bookstore were a big part of that. The Fighting Irish Impact Poster series was marketed and sold by the Hammes Bookstore on behalf of the Center and over the years raised more than $100,000. Through failures and successes, the love and support of Follett’s Jim O’Connor and the Hammes Bookstore team never wavered. I will never forget and remain forever grateful!"

To celebrate the success of the SOCK Out Homelessness campaign and the continued partnership between Notre Dame and the CFH, Don Germano, president of Follett Higher Education Group, presented a check to the CFH’s Chief Development Officer Taya Groover in a small ceremony at the Hammed Notre Dame Bookstore on January 23.

“It is easy for a promotion like this to start strong and then fade away, but sock purchases and direct donations exceeded expectations throughout the season,” said Germano. “The continued support from campus administration and enthusiasm of the bookstore team helped drive excitement and generosity from the entire Fighting Irish community, truly demonstrating the depth of Notre Dame’s service mission.”

“These funds are so important for many reasons,” said Groover. “On any given night 275 men, women, children and veterans call the Center for the Homeless home. Our doors are open 365 days a year, and it costs $3.1 million each year to maintain the facility and continue our programming. The funds from SOCK Out Homelessness will assist with our programming costs, as well as help cover food costs and basic needs of our guests.”  

To stay up-to-date on University of Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore and Varsity Shop promotions and events, visit www.ndbookstore.com and ‘Like’ the bookstore’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HammesNDBookstore. To learn more about the Center for the Homeless, South Bend, go to www.cfh.net.   

Image: FHEG President Don Germano presents the CFH’s Taya Groover with $12,649 donation from SOCK Out Homelessness campaign.