SOMERVILLE, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman and his colleague Kristin M. Corrado. (R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Morris),  have launched a “Socks for Soldiers” drive to collect one of the most requested items by United States troops serving around the world.

“Our heroes at home and abroad need our help to stay warm and comfortable,” said Bateman, (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer). “That’s why I’m partnering with Senator Corrado on a new effort to collect clean, unworn socks that are in high demand by our troops and our veterans. It’s an easy, inexpensive way that we can support those who sacrifice so much on our behalf.”

Socks collected at Bateman's legislative office in Somerville at 36 E. Main St. will be shipped overseas by Operation Shoebox New Jersey, a volunteer organization in Somerset County that has been shipping personal care packages to US troops deployed overseas since 2005.

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Corrado and Bateman are urging schools, businesses, and local governments to post collection boxes with a “Socks for Soldiers” sign.

Corrado first collected “Socks for Soldiers” while serving as Passaic County Clerk. Last year, her program provided more than 6,000 pairs of socks to soldiers and veterans.

“Our ‘Socks for Soldiers’ program was a great success last year, but I know we can do even better if expand our partnership and enlist more help to collect sock donations,” Corrado added. “We’re going to reach out to area schools and local governments to see if they can serve as collection points and actively promote this important effort. I encourage everyone who’s interested to participate.”

The collection drive will run through the end of March.

For any questions about “Socks for Soldiers,” contact Bateman’s office at (908) 526-3600 or via email at senbateman@njleg.org.