Nicole Hesse of Wayne County is surrounded by some of the 343 pairs of socks donated by Wayne County High School students.

2018 Rogers Scholar Nicole Hesse of Wayne County organized a sock drive to help support students and organizations in her community.

Hesse, a graduate of The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Scholars program, partnered with students and staff at Wayne County High School on a local sock drive for her Rogers Scholars community service project.

“One worry that concerned me most was trying to find something that would be financially affordable for those to donate in my rural area,” said Hesse, a senior at Wayne County High School. “High school students struggle to pay for bills, gas, college classes, and social activities, and I knew that putting in one more expense would make-or-break who donated. Socks seemed like the easiest thing for students to buy that would not take down a student’s next paycheck, while still providing an important need in our community.”

Hesse collected well over 343 pairs of socks. She made donations to the Wayne County School District’s Family Resource Centers, Dishman’s Nursing Home, Golden Years Nursing Home, HELP Pregnancy Center, and Monticello Head Start.

As an incentive to donate to the Wayne County Sock Drive, the name of each donor was entered for a chance to win a complimentary pair of Oakley sunglasses donated by Vision Care.

“Wayne County High School is so proud of Nicole and the effort she put in the sock drive,” said principal Justin Alley. “Nicole is an amazing student that cares deeply about Monticello and Wayne County. Her efforts will go a long way to provide much needed socks to those in need.”

“Seeing the light in the eyes of those receiving the donations, those who donated, and those affected by these donations truly left me humbled and eager to help more people,” added Hesse. “This simple gesture left my heart full and made every hardship, obstacle, and challenge well worth it.”

Hesse is the daughter of Matt and Emily Hesse of Monticello.