Warm feet are an important part of surviving winter, and the Sangre de Cristo Hospice is seeing to it that local firefighters, veterans and others have an opportunity to keep comfortable with new socks. The hospice sponsors the “Socks for the Soul” annual sock drive as part of their community outreach. The drive began in mid-January and continues until Feb. 17.

Anyone can donate, with collection boxes located in Trinidad and Walsenburg. While new socks are preferred, gently used socks are also accepted which will be directed to organizations that help the homeless. Last year more than 1,200 pairs of socks were donated.

Local fire departments receiving new socks this year include Trinidad, Stonewall, Hoehne, Walsenburg, La Veta and Gardner. “The Fire Department does a lot more than fight fires,” said Cindy Thelen, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for Sangre de Cristo Hospice, “so we have a lot of times where they’re helping us. If a patient has fallen and we need help lifting, it’s called a lift assist. It’s our way of giving back to the fire department and saying thank you to them for helping us, as we work in tandem with them a lot.”

After the drive ends, it takes four to six weeks before all the socks are delivered. Hospice volunteers make labels that are tied to each pair of socks, and firefighters receive theirs in decorated bags accompanied by homemade treats made by volunteers.

“The fire department, you can see that they feel a little like ‘wow, nobody does this for us.’ It’s not something they expect, so they’re extremely appreciative,” said Thelen. Socks are also given to the Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center in Walsenburg.

Collection boxes in Trinidad are located at 1st National Bank, Carnegie Library, Salud, Sayre Senior Center, Zion Lutheran Church, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and the Sangre de Cristo Hospice located at 1502 E. Main St. in Trinidad. For other drop off locations in the Walsenburg and La Veta area, call the Sangre de Cristo Hospice at 719-846-3060.

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