High school students donate prosthetics by selling socks

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 19:01:36-05

Two Largo High School students are putting their best foot forward. Selling socks to purchase legs for amputees who can't afford them.

"I realized the importance of my legs and without them my life would be drastically different," said Junior Ritesh Chandrasekaran.

Chandrasekaran and Junior Malyna Reed partnered with LIMBS international to make the plan a reality. They're both part of the high school's International Baccalaureate program where they first hatched the plan.

"LIMBS helps out hospitals internationally to help accommodate amputees that have lost their limbs in developing countries," said Chandrasekaran.

Amputees like Luis.

Luis lives in Mexico and lost his leg due to and injury and complications with diabetes. The loss of his leg put Luis out of work and unable to support his family.

"For every seventy five pairs that we sold, one amputee would receive a prosthetic limb," said Chandrasekaran.

So they launched "Soctober". A cleverly named sales blitz late last year.

Not only did the socks provide prosthetics to those in need, LIMBS also donated a pair of socks for each pair sold, to children at All Children's Hospital.

Thanks to social media and signs around campus, pretty much everyone forked over the cash to purchase one of the colorful sets.

"It was a mix of everybody, students, adults, faculty, our guidance councilor actually bought five or six pairs herself," said Malyna Reed.

In the end, the determined duo sold 80 pairs. Seamlessly sending a new prosthetic leg straight to Luis.

But the work is far from over. According to the WHO, 40 million people continue to have limited access to quality prosthetics.

"It warms my heart that we could help them but it also hurts at the same time knowing that there's so many people in the world like this that we don't get to help," said Reed.

For these students, they hope their experience inspires others to make a global impact from their own backyard.

"You can help anyone, if you truly put your mind to it," said Chandrasekaran.