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    Interim HealthCare of the Central Valley SOCKtober 2017

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    2017 has seen a 19% increase in the homeless population in the Fresno area since last year. Recent studies estimate well over 1,500 homeless individuals now living in Fresno, the vast majority being unsheltered. These staggering statistics make SOCKtober 2017 even more significant than previous years.

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    (prREACH)

    Fresno, California – A simple Facebook photo would be the inspiration for a community to rally and improve the lives of hundreds of homeless men, women, and children in Fresno. Lucie, Interim HealthCare Registered Nurse, was scrolling through her Facebook feed in 2015 when she came across a photo of a man holding a sign which said, “Socks are the most needed but least donated article of clothing in homeless shelters.”

    Lucie’s famously loving heart was touched, saying that it really made her think that such a simple item could make such a big difference in someone's life. Lucie immediately put her kindness into action, forwarding the post to Interim HealthCare of the Central Valley Administrator, Sarah Ahmed, asking if Interim would be interested in sponsoring a Sock Drive. Sarah was immediately on board, always eager to find new ways to contribute to the community and SOCKtober was born. Within just a few days the socks began pouring in from the office team, field staff, community partners, and referral sources.

    That first year, the estimated number of unsheltered homeless people in Fresno County was 1,183. That number became the goal: to collect at least one pair of new socks for each homeless person in Fresno. Word-of-mouth and Facebook postings garnered lots of attention and Interim’s Business Development Team reached out to their community partners with great success, some facilities donating as many as 100 pairs.

    There was such an overwhelming response that the Sock Drive deadline was extended not once, but twice that year as the socks kept coming. At the end of SOCKtober 2015, Interim HealthCare had collected 1,234 pairs of brand new socks for the homeless in the community. SOCKtober 2016 was expanded to collect not just socks, but warm hats, gloves, and scarves. Once again, the response from the community was tremendous with more than 1,500 items being collected, including dozens of handmade hats and scarves donated by local fiber crafters.

    2017 has seen a 19% increase in the homeless population in the Fresno area since last year. Recent studies estimate well over 1,500 homeless individuals now living in Fresno, the vast majority being unsheltered. These staggering statistics make SOCKtober 2017 even more significant than previous years.

    Each year when donations are brought to local shelters for distribution, including the Poverello House and Fresno Rescue Mission, the response from shelter workers is incredible. They’ve explained that socks are the one item that they can never keep enough of and all too often the donated socks are mismatched and used. A pair of new socks could make all the difference to someone when they’re homeless, especially as winter begins to set in.

    The warmth and passion of these volunteers and their excitement at being able to provide such a seemingly small item to those who truly need it is genuinely uplifting. Interim HealthCare is proud to sponsor SOCKtober 2017 and hopes to collect over 2,000 pairs of socks this year.

    For more information and/or to donate to this cause, please contact Interim HealthCare of the Central Valley at (559) 224-0560.

    About Interim HealthCare: For over 50 years, Interim HealthCare has provided loved ones with compassionate and professional home care. With over 300 locations throughout the United States, our nurses, therapists, aides, companions and other healthcare professionals provide a wide range of services including Home Health and Personal Care and Support. The mission is to improve people’s lives and that is what Interim HealthCare does every day. With a broad range of home care expertise, our trained professionals offer comprehensive home care and supportive services that are cost-effective and highly personalized.

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    “It really made me think that such a simple item could make such a big difference in someone's life.”
    - Lucie, Interim HealthCare Registered Nurse
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