“It was like a miracle — the multiplication of the socks,” Deacon Dennis Moore said with a laugh.

He was referring to the 588 pairs of socks he collected from deacons and their wives at the October deacons’ retreat at Lake Morey.

He will distribute them to clients of Joseph’s House in Burlington, where he is the director.

Joseph’s House serves Chittenden County clients who struggle with food insecurity and those who need economic assistance, personal hygiene items and clothing. Many are single parents with children, homeless, homebound or unemployed.

Many socks have been donated to Joseph’s House in the past, but the supply had been depleted, so Deacon Moore sought help from the other deacons of the Diocese of Burlington.

“It was amazing,” he enthused. “There were 200 (pairs) then 300 … and the next thing we were up to 417. It was just amazing. They kept bringing them in.”

Most of the donated socks are new, warm socks for the winter; sizes vary for children and adults.

Deacon Moore said the success of the sock drive demonstrates the generosity of the deacons and their wives: “They had an opportunity to contribute, and this is an example of the work they do.”

Socks are a frequently requested item among persons experiencing homelessness and other persons in need. The donation of the 588 pairs from the deacon community will “definitely get us through the winter,” said Deacon Moore, who serves at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Burlington.

But if anyone wants to donate to the ministry, hygiene items still are needed like shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and laundry soap.

For more information, go to josephshousevt.org.