Soctober to warm 2,200 pairs of feet this winter

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The Rotary Club of Monroe held its weekly meeting at the United Methodist Church of Monroe Thursday morning. Here, members stand in front of 1,100 pairs of socks raised for nonprofits through the Rotary's annual Soctober sock collection drive.

MONROE, CT — Many veterans receiving assistance from Homes for the Brave, victims of abuse helped by The Center for Family Justice and those seeking a leg up against homeless and hunger from the Bridgeport Rescue Mission will be warmer this winter, thanks to a donation of 2,200 pairs of socks from Monroe.

The Rotary Club of Monroe collected donations of 1,100 pairs of socks during its annual Soctober event and will match the haul.

Rotary Club of Monroe members sorted 1,100 pairs of socks, dividing the donations up between three nonprofits: the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Homes for the Brave and The Center for Family Justice.

“It’s really heartwarming actually, that so many people, like those in the Rotary Club, see the importance of helping those in need,” said Lisa Chester, senior communications manager for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. “We will be distributing this to those who come to our pantry three days a week.”

Chester said the socks will go quickly.

On Monday morning, Monroe Rotarians sorted through bins of socks during their meeting at United Methodist Church of Monroe to fill three large bags for the nonprofits.

Chester attended to receive the Bridgeport Rescue Mission’s socks and Vincent Santilli, chief executive officer for Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport, picked up his nonprofit’s bag.

“It’s so wonderful, because it demonstrates the support for our veterans,” Santilli said of the socks donation.

After learning of The Center for Family Justice’s donation, its president and CEO, Deborah A. Greenwood, wrote in a social media message: “OMG — THIS IS JUST OUTSTANDING – greatly appreciated, our CFJ staff is over the top excited and grateful,” according to a Monroe Rotary Club news release.

Special thanks

The Rotary Club of Monroe collected 1,100 pairs of socks through its annual Soctober event and will match the donations, raising the total to 2,200.

The Rotary Club of Monroe’s Soctober sock collection drive grew significantly from last year when 300 pairs were donated.

Molly Simons-Smiths, who worked hard to get more merchants to place sock baskets in their establishments, deserves credit for much of this year’s success, according to Dennis Condon, president of the Monroe Rotary Club.

The Rotary Club is grateful to the owners of those businesses, the United Methodist Church of Monroe and to First Selectman Ken Kellogg for having a collection basket at Town Hall.

Participating businesses included Monroe Social, Benedict’s Home and Garden, Republic Kitchen and Bar, The Last Drop Coffee Shop, Union Savings Bank and Newtown Savings Bank.

During last week’s meeting, Condon expressed his thanks to Ocean State Job Lot’s Boston headquarters and its executive director, fellow Rotarian David Sarlitto, who has been working the supply chain to allow the Rotary Club to match the 1,100 socks collected.

“He personally will drive them down from Boston,” Condon said.

The Rotary is also grateful to all of the residents who bought new pairs of socks to donate this year. “We are very proud of the kindness that is delivered in Monroe and the generosity and heroism that is always shown in times of need,” Condon said.

For information about The Center for Family Justice or to make a donation, click here.

For information about the Bridgeport Rescue Mission or to make a donation, click here.

For information about Homes for the Brave or to make a donation, click here.

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