Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman has proven ‘You have not because you ask not’, which is why she is known in the community as Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate.
As a caregiver to her mother for over 20 years, Dr. Hickman began to reminisce on the beautiful and calming smile she shared, even as her health declined. One way that Dr. Hickman felt she could honor her mother was to make seniors smile. But an even more tangible and meaningful way that Dr. Hickman felt she could honor her late mother, Shibbolethia B. Lewis—who died at the age of 97 in 2017—was to create the Socks 4 Seniors Community Initiative.
The Socks 4 Seniors Community Initiative is a way to give back to the community where she rendered care to her mother. Making other seniors smile gives her peace, even now in moments of grief. The Socks 4 Senior Community Initiative was held from September 1 to September 30, 2021, and over 300 pairs of men’s and women’s socks were donated to the effort.
Dr. Hickman engaged community members and organizations, asking for support with a strong foundation in service to others as a healthcare professional and community advocate.
Without hesitation, the Missouri City Police Department agreed to be the drop-off location for the sock donations. Her alma mater, Walden University, arranged for an Amazon link for citizens to purchase socks online from across the globe. Missouri City Councilman Jeffrey L. Boney and State Representative Ron Reynolds were major supporters of the project. Other contributors included: The Fort Bend County Black Nurses Association, Walden University Social Change Community, Zeta Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., Shawn Fair, of the Leadership Experience Tour in Troy, Michigan; and many other individuals and entities.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude for every contribution,” said Dr. Hickman. “The Socks 4 Seniors Project will be an annual event in Missouri City, TX, in September.”
In addition to her effort, Dr. Hickman is the author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor and The Black Book of Important Information for Caregivers. She retired from St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center in 2013. Dr. Hickman is a passionate nurse educator and storyteller, passionate about sharing caregiving strategies that help navigate the challenges associated with caregiving. Her professional career spans over 30 years, including acute-care nursing, research, and community/population health education.
You can reach Dr. Hickman through her website at www.cynthiajhickman.info.