At John’s Crazy Socks, we strive every day to show what people with differing abilities can do. As part of that effort, we host tours – both in-person and virtually – and workgroups from schools and social service agencies. We want students and clients with differing abilities to see for themselves work they can do and work available to them.
John Cronin, co-founder and Chief Happiness Officer at John’s Crazy Socks, said, “We want students to see the work we do. We love when they visit us.”
Mark X. Cronin, John’s co-founder and father, said “The tours and workgroups are important to us. When John attended high school, he had the opportunity to participate in some workgroups and that made a difference for him. We want to do that for other students. We want to inspire them and encourage them.”
Mark explained, “It is so powerful when students see for themselves what is possible. It is always better to show than to tell. And the teachers love it too because it adds real life experience to their classes.”
Student Workgroups at John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks host six workgroups each week from schools and social service agencies. Because so many schools want to participate in the program, we divide the year into trimesters so we can offer more slots to more groups. The groups average six students and come once a week for one to two hours at a time. John’s Crazy Socks gives each group a tour and a welcome orientation. Each week, we provide a variety of tasks for the students to perform. The students also get to observe the work in our warehouse during their visits. At the end of their time with us, we give each student a thank you gift bag.
Tours at John’s Crazy Socks
We want people to see what we do at John’s Crazy Socks. We want people to see for themselves our unified workplace where people with differing abilities work side-by-side with neuro-typicals. We want students to see the work we perform so they can see some of what they can do and know that there are jobs out there for them.
The in-person tours include a greeting, a short film about John’s Crazy Socks, a tour of the warehouse, a demonstration of some of the tasks performed, an overview of John’s Crazy Socks and an opportunity to ask questions. Each student leaves with a gift bag. John and Mark X. Cronin, our co-founders, conduct many of the tours themselves, our colleagues help out when John and Mark are out of town. We have had over 1,000 students visit John’s Crazy Socks through our tour program.
With the pandemic, we learned to move the tours online and now have had students form around the world visit us including students from across the United States and Canada as well as India, France, Ireland, Japan, Mexico and more. In the virtual tours, John and Mark meet with students via Zoom or Microsoft Teams and share the story of John’s Crazy Socks and show the work we do through the use of slides and videos.
Impact of the Tours and Workgroups
Some of our colleagues at John’s Crazy Socks first got to know about us from a tour or work workgroup. We have heard from teachers, students and parents how visitors walked away inspired and determined to find work for themselves.
In one instance, a teacher called the day after a tour to say that one of her students, a young man with autism who did not even want to go on the tour, showed up in school with a picture of him and John that he had printed out. He handed it to the teacher and said, “You see, I can do anything.”
Scheduling a Tour or Work Group at John’s Crazy Socks
We have information about the tours and workgroups at our website. You can read more about our tours here and you can read about our workgroups here. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to our Community Organizer, Maria Lerner.
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $500,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.
For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at email@example.com.