SOMERVILLE, NJ - State Sen.Kip Bateman, R-16 and his colleague Kristin Corrado, R-40 have launched a “Socks for Soldiers” drive to collect one of the most requested items by US troops serving around the world.

This is the third consecutive year the lawmakers have coordinated the drive.

“Our heroes at home and abroad need our help to stay warm and comfortable,” Bateman said. “That’s why I am proud to continue my partnership with Senator Corrado on this 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.”

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Socks can be dropped off at Bateman's district office at 36 Warren E. Main St. in Somerville; the entrance is on Warren Street. At the conclusion of the drive, the socks will be given to Operation Shoebox New Jersey, a volunteer organization based in Somerset County that is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Since 2005, volunteers have shipped 170,000 care packages to US troops overseas..

“Our ‘Socks for Soldiers’ program was a great success the past two years, but I know we can do even better if expand our partnership and enlist more help to collect sock donations,” Corrado said. “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.”

Corrado and Bateman urged 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. Since the creation of this program, more than 10,000 pairs of socks have been donated to soldiers and veterans.

The collection drive will run through the end of February.

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

Also, Corrado’s office at (973) 237-1360 or via email at sencorrado@njleg.org.