Socks for Soldiers

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A drive is on to offer comfort and care to real American heroes.

There are lots of ways to impact other people’s lives, and one easy way is to help provide socks for America’s military men and women.

The “Socks for Soldiers” campaign at Rowan this semester seeks to raise 5,000 pair of new, white, crew-style tube socks (size L-XL).

Students, faculty and professional staff who wish to donate socks may simply drop them in a bin at the Recreation Center now through Nov. 4.

Jackie Falzarano, a senior management major who works part time at the Rec Center, said individuals, clubs, even sports teams have been donating since the campaign began October 7.

Though the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines provide uniforms and gear for military members, Falzarano said extra socks are always in demand, especially for soldiers in combat zones.

“Clean, dry socks help them feel more comfortable but it’s about more than comfort,” said Falzarano, 21, of Oakridge. “Wet or damp feet are breeding grounds for fungus, and fungal infections in a combat zone can be devastating. Donating socks is one way to put yourself in their shoes.”

Laurie Dwyer, assistant director of fitness and wellness at the Rec Center, said donated socks will be delivered to Stockings for Soldiers, a Wilmington, Del. non-profit, and forwarded to active military members.

This is the second year Rowan is participating in the program, Dwyer said.

“Our goal last year was also 5,000 pair and we were only about 100 pair short,” she said. “This year I know we’re going to make our goal.”

In addition to socks – individual pairs or bundles – donors may contribute cash for the purchase of socks, Dwyer said.

She said the Rec Center’s Community Service Committee conducts various activities throughout the year which, in addition to the sock drive, includes a party for homeless children in Trenton and work with seniors in a local assisted living center.

“The sock drive is very important but everyone has their own thing that works for them,” Dwyer said. “The main thing is people should contribute to something that’s meaningful to them.”

Passing through the Rec Center on the way to his workout, Public Relations Professor Larry Litwin said he and his wife donated a dozen pair midway through the drive and will donate at least a dozen more before it ends.

“This will help our fighting men and women feel good, and that makes me feel good,” Litwin said.

Sporting a blue Navy Seals T-shirt, senior Anthony Sabatina said he may join the military after college and is proud that Rowan students, faculty and staff have gotten behind the Socks for Soldiers drive.

“I have friends and family in the military and, I can tell you, this makes a difference,” said Sabatina, 22, a law and justice major from Delran. “This is something we should all support. It makes their sacrifice feel respected, and appreciated, by other Americans.”

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