Warm socks, mittens and hats are greatly needed each winter yet they are among items least often donated to homeless shelters, according to Harford County government.
To fill the gap, the county government, in partnership with Harford County Public Library, is again sponsoring “SOCKtober,” a countywide collection drive during October for new socks, hats, mittens and gloves of all sizes.
Donated items will be distributed to local individuals and families experiencing homelessness, or on the brink of homelessness, and to local veterans organizations.
Collection boxes are in county government buildings including parks and recreation facilities, public libraries and participating businesses through Oct. 31.
First developed in 2016, SOCKtober helps to raise awareness about homelessness in Harford County, and provides items that are in high demand before the cold 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 2018, Harford County government and its nonprofit partners provided services to 3,162 people at-risk of, or experiencing, homelessness, according to the county.
“Harford County has a heart for those in need, which has allowed us to donate more than 10,000 items since the beginning of our annual SOCKtober collection drive,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said in a statement. “Thanks to the generous spirit of our citizens, we hope to continue bringing warmth to the bodies and souls of our less fortunate neighbors.”
Harford County companies, organizations and schools wishing to participate in SOCKtober can learn more at www.harfordcountymd.gov/services.
Help spread the word by sharing the SOCKtober flier, which can be found on the Facebook pages for Harford County Government and Harford County Community Services.