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History of SOCK

Shelton is a small rural town in Western Washington with historic roots in Native American culture, as well as the logging and fishing industries that followed. For generations the people of Shelton had traditionally viewed drug abuse, gangs and youth violence as problems that existed “out there” in larger cities, or only as phenomena portrayed on TV.

Nevertheless, in 1997, citizens of every age and background were shocked to learn of the gruesome murder of a local teenage boy. A victim of gang violence, the boy’s death sent a warning cry that galvanized the Shelton community into action.


SOCK formed from community action

After a series of parental and community meetings that focused on crime, gangs, and the need for youth activities, a group emerged and took the following steps: (1) organized an all-day county-wide graffiti paint out; (2) formed a youth center called SOCK (Save Our County’s Kids); and (3) partnered with the National Guard to house the SOCK youth center in the old Shelton Armory.

Putting an armory to good use

When the Guard Unit housed there was dissolved in February 1999, SOCK became the sole tenant in the Armory and signed a long-term lease for use of the building. A partnership formed in 2005 with the Mason Transit Authority (MTA) resulted in MTA's purchase of the Armory, with SOCK the main tenant. From 1997-2012, SOCK recorded more than 6,500 individual children or teens who participated in SOCK-sponsored programs or activities.

Keeping doors open for our kids

In a typical year, SOCK volunteers contributed 5,000 or more hours to keep its doors open so that 1000-plus youth could participate in the free activities provided at SOCK. For many of Mason County’s children, SOCK provided a vital lifeline to peer-supported positive activities, life skills, maturation and interpersonal growth.


SOCK. PO Box 1013. Shelton WA 98584.
Contact us at (360) 427-3119 or email us at sock@sock.org