LONGWOOD — The future of the music program at University Heights High School may come down to socks.
BLACKSOCKS, located on 26th Street in Manhattan but headquartered in Zurich, has started a fundraising campaign to help the South Bronx school keep its music department, which recently lost funding and could soon be gone altogether.
Principal Hazel Joseph-Roseboro said the music program was an important experience for students and a way to make sure they had the same opportunities as students at schools outside of the city.
"They really don’t get the luxury of having experiences like most suburban schools that would have a band and all these other programs," she said, "so this is really, to me, equalizing the playing field for our students."
BLACKSOCKS, which sells socks, underwear and shirts, found out about the challenges that University Heights was facing through PENCIL, a nonprofit education group in their building.
The company has since started a page on Indiegogo to raise $5,000 for instruments and supplies at the high school by Wednesday, Sept. 3. It has raised just $10 so far, but Lori Rosen, managing partner at BLACKSOCKS U.S., stressed that efforts had just started.
Contributors can get different perks from BLACKSOCKS depending on how much they donate. For instance, they will receive a pair of men's black socks with a $25 donation, and they will receive a laundry bag, a pair of guitar-themed socks and a pair of men's black socks with a $150 donation.
"There are so many companies that are socially minded," said Rosen. "We would like to be, too, so this is sort of our way to do that."
Joseph-Roseboro was grateful for BLACKSOCKS' fundraising effort and said it would be necessary to help make sure the school is able to keep its music program going.
"We need it to be able to get our music program up and running for this year, so we are hopeful and grateful for the opportunity," she said. "That donation will definitely allow us to allow our music program to continue to run."