HAMILTON (Mercer) — For the second year in New Jersey, and the third year overall in its various locations, Footprints to Recovery is promoting what it calls the "Socks of Love" campaign, with a goal of providing 10,000 pairs of socks to shelters.

It may surprise you to know that socks, easily purchased for $10 or less, are the item of need least donated to homeless shelters. But their usefulness is obvious: They keep feet warm, dry, and free from disease, and wearing them becomes so much more pertinent in cold weather.

New Jersey Executive Director David Szarka said his branch's first donation to the Rescue Mission of Trenton, on Dec. 17, consisted of 150 pairs of socks. He expects a post-Christmas donation on Jan. 15 to be even larger, as word spreads not only about the campaign, but who and what it benefits.

And this is especially crucial and meaningful, he said, around the holidays.

"I understand the need for socks. You know, it's such an inexpensive donation to some, but it's such an important aspect of somebody's life for others," Szarka said. "For us, it's easy enough to collect socks and have people donate socks, and then get them to people who really, really need it."

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Footprints to Recovery's other centers in Colorado and Illinois have coordinated dropoffs on the same two days as New Jersey.

If you'd like to donate, you can either go online to purchase pairs of socks, or drop them off in person at Footprints to Recovery's facility on Quakerbridge Road in Hamilton.

Footprints to Recovery is an outpatient program at which clinical professionals are available to treat adults with mental health and substance abuse issues.

For more information on the Socks of Love campaign, click here.

Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News." Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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