Giving back: Cole’s ‘Socks for Smiles’

Cole decided to give back after his child life specialist gave him a colorful pair of socks.

When Cole was 10, he experienced his first seizure. Two years later, he has multiple seizures a day and is treated at the Boston Children’s Hospital Epilepsy Center. In the spring of 2019, Cole and his family were inpatient at the hospital for an electroencephalogram (EEG) to check on his epilepsy. While he was in the hospital, his child life specialist, Andrea Lerude, gave him a colorful pair of socks that made him smile.

“When I got my socks, it put a smile on my face because they were funny, and I thought if other kids got them it would make them happy too,” says Cole.

Cole and his family partnered with Hope for Happiness, where all of their sock donations are now being accepted. Interested in donating? Socks can also be dropped off at the Harwich Community Center, 100 Oak Street, Harwich, MA 02645, or for more information, email

After learning that the hospital’s sock supply was running low, Cole took it upon himself to collect more socks and spread more smiles. He quickly surpassed his original goal to collect 500 pairs, and amassed more than 40,000. He donated socks to various local hospitals, with more than 11,000 going to Boston Children’s.

Cole, who has epilepsy, poses with a donation box for his sock drive
Cole has collected more than 40,000 pairs of socks

“I liked the idea of donating socks because they aren’t something like candy that disappears,” says Cole. “These socks can be used more than once.”

Cole and his family credit their community in Harwich, Massachusetts for providing amazing support. “Kids are asking their parents for a pair of socks to donate on their birthdays instead of getting gifts,” shares Cole’s mom, Erica. “To have so much support is amazing. Cole is an epilepsy warrior giving back to other kids with epilepsy.”

Cole doesn’t let his condition slow him down. He likes watching basketball, biking with his friends, and hanging out with his two brothers. “I don’t like having epilepsy. After I have a seizure, I just try to get up and keep having a good day,” says Cole. “I don’t want other kids to worry about their seizures either, but to keep having a good day and keep moving on.”

Learn more about the Epilepsy Center.

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