A simple donation of socks can make a real difference

Aug. 3, 2017 | G. Michael Dobbs

Big Y employees show off their socks during last year’s sock drive to benefit Mercy Medical Center’s Healthcare for the Homeless program. Reminder Publications submitted photo

SPRINGFIELD – A simple pair of socks can mean a lot to a homeless person and musician Peter Newland hopes that people attending the Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival on Aug. 12 can donate a pair of clean, new socks to help Mercy Medical Center’s Healthcare for the Homeless program.

“The amount of comfort [a pair of clean socks can provide] is substantial,” Newland said to Reminder Publications.

Newland has been leading this effort for the past five years. New packaged socks for adult  homeless men and women are needed and are distributed by Healthcare for the Homeless program when they deliver medical services to Springfield’s homeless population.  Although any new socks are welcome, wool socks are considered the premium.

The jazz festival will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Court Square in downtown Springfield.

The socks are also being collected at the Big Y pharmacies at the following locations:
• 300 Cooley St., Springfield
• 2035 Boston Road, Wilbraham
• 802 Williams S., Longmeadow
• 441 North Main St., East Longmeadow
• 433 Center Street, Ludlow
• Thorndike St. Route 32, Palmer
• 195 College Highway, Southwick
• 136 North King St., Northampton
• 44 Willimansett St., South Hadley

“If you’re going to the festival, bring a pair of socks. If not go to any of these stores,” Newland asked.

Doreen Fadus, regional executive director of Community Health and Well Being, Trinity Health Of New England, said, “The feet have always been a focus for Healthcare for the Homeless because so many of those we serve wear footwear that is too large or too small, many spend long periods of time in wet and cold conditions, many have foot issues arising from diabetes and there are numerous other foot related problems. Good clean socks are a great help when we are treating our patients.”

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