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It’s not too late to drop off warm socks, mittens and hats — greatly needed items at homeless shelters that are among the least-often donated.

To fill this gap, Harford County government, in partnership with Harford County Public Library and We Cancerve, a foundation that creates giving opportunities for youth to support homeless, sick and foster children, is sponsoring its annual “SOCKtober” collection drive in October.

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Donations of new socks, hats, mittens and gloves of all sizes will be distributed to local individuals and families experiencing homelessness, or on the brink of homelessness, and to local veterans organizations. Collection boxes will be in county government buildings, including parks and recreation facilities and senior centers, in public libraries and at participating businesses, through Oct. 31.

Developed in 2016, SOCKtober helps to raise awareness about homelessness in Harford County, and provides items that are in high demand before the winter months.

Even regular donors of clothing such as coats and pants will usually wear out their own socks, hats and gloves before throwing them away. This means that homeless individuals are constantly at risk of serious foot disease and, during winter months, in severe danger from the cold. In fiscal year 2019, Harford County government and its nonprofit partners provided services to more than 3,500 people, including 1,400 children, at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

“Thanks to the generosity of our citizens, we have donated more than 10,000 items since the beginning of our annual SOCKtober collection drive,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said. “As the cold winter months approach, we hope to continue this spirit of giving to families in need.”

Harford County companies, organizations and schools that would like to participate in SOCKtober may learn more at www.harfordcountymd.gov/SOCKtober. A sharable SOCKtober flier can be downloaded from the website or the Facebook pages for Harford County Government and Harford County Community Services.

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