SOMERVILLE, NJ - State Sen.Kip Bateman, R-16 and his colleague Kristin Corrado, R-40 reached out to their constituents last month, counting on their generosity and patriotism in an effort to collect ''Socks for Soldiers” one of the most requested items by US troops serving around the world.

They answered the call.

“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.”

Sign Up for Somerville Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Thousands of pairs of socks were donated and collected at Bateman's district office at 36 Warren E. Main St. in Somerville; The socks were donated 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 171,000 care packages to US troops overseas.

The socks are now being counted and readied for two packings on April 1st at Mount St. Mayy Academy, Watchung, and on April 17th at the Hilltop School in Mendham.

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

Corrado first collected “Socks for Soldiers” while serving as Passaic County Clerk. Since the creation of this program, more than 12,000 pairs of socks have been donated to soldiers and veterans.