SOMERVILLE, NJ – Socks for the homeless are being collected by state Sen. Kip Bateman, R-Somerset/Hunterdon/Middlesex/Mercer at his legislative office through March 31.

Bateman authored and sponsored a resolution approved by the state Senate that designates February 14 of each year as “Socks for the Homeless Day.”

The resolution is awaiting approval by the state Assembly.

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Donations of socks can be delivered to Bateman’s office, 36 E. Main St., through March 31 between 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The entrance to the office is around the corner on Warren Street.

The socks collected over the next several weeks will be delivered to Rev. Ron Pollock at the First Episcopal Church on West High Street, who will distribute the socks through the Samaritan Homeless Interim Program in Somerville. SHIP is dedicated to helping the poor and disadvantaged.

“A new pair of socks can be a sign of hope to many homeless men and women in New Jersey,” said Bateman. “Almost 8,500 New Jerseyans face homelessness today, the gift of warmth provides health, well-being, and comfort.

“People are generous, but they don’t think to donate socks,” Bateman said. “This is our way of trying to give back a little bit.”

The joint resolution has been championed by Tom Costello Jr., founder and Chief Sock Person at The Joy of Sox, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides socks for the homeless.

Several other states, including New York, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, have adopted similar resolutions designating “Socks for the Homeless Day.”

“Creating a statewide ‘Socks for Homeless Day’ will bring awareness to the hardships our homeless face,” added Bateman. “As winter is filled with snow and cold, a simple gift of socks can provide a helping hand to those in need.”

Further information is available by calling Bateman’s legislative office at (908) 526-3600.