'Socks for New Jersey' drive launched
TROY - Deb Harer saw a CNN story Sunday that caught her attention - and her heart.
In the report, a New Jersey woman affected by Hurricane Sandy took her clothes to a laundry to get cleaned.
"She happened to mention that she wore the same socks for a week," Harer recalled. "Then, she was so excited because she was going to get clean clothes. They took her bag of laundry, tagged it up, and told her she could have it on Thursday."
Harer was astounded by the delay.
"She would have to wait another four days," she said.
Harer, who owns a State Farm insurance office in Troy, said she saw the woman's hopes "deflate," but only for a second.
"Then, she said, 'I'm going to have clean socks on Thursday,' and perked up right away, but you could see there was an instant of disappointment."
This inspired Harer to start a "Socks for New Jersey" charity drive in Troy. A large banner advertising the initiative has been placed across the windows of her office building in downtown Troy. Packages of new socks are being accepted.
"That struck me as something I hadn't thought about, and it would be so easy to send socks up there," she said.
Harer has placed a call to CNN in an effort to get in touch with the woman in the report and send socks to her overnight. She hasn't heard back yet, however.
"If we don't get a contact, we have State Farm contacts in New Jersey," Harer said. In that event, she said, she will send the socks to her contacts in the Garden State to distribute to hurricane victims in some way.
Harer said they are taking donations of new socks at her State Farm office at 1109 W. Main St., Troy. People wanting to make donations can also call her at (570) 297-3207.
She has already accepted some donations of new socks and money.
"I really want someone to get these socks before Thursday, before the snow flies."
Harer admires the woman in the report for how she handled the situation, calling it "remarkable."
"I would have been screaming on the ground or wailing or distraught. I just give them credit."
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.