The Socks for Seniors Project is in full swing once again this year, says Mary Ann Dulaney, a coordinator for the project, thanks to an informative article published by the TIMES NEWS in 2012, which sparked interest in the community.

Dulaney and her daughter, Jessica Kutza, coordinate the project together with the assistance of 16 area businesses, and are collecting donations of warm socks and other items to distribute to local nursing home and rehab center residents for the holiday season.

In addition to donations of non-skid and regular socks, personal care items (shampoo, lotion, chap stick, deodorant, brushes, combs, aftershave, shower caps, small hand sanitizers), individually wrapped snacks or sugar free candy and soft tissues, are needed.

Other items such as costume jewelry, garden gloves (for wheelchair use), back-scratchers, puzzle books and anything to bring cheer to the elders are appreciated.

"These are simple inexpensive products that most don't consider special gifts, but do make a difference. Soft tissues are a favorite among many," said Kutza.

"A lot of these items are on sale now and can easily be picked up while you are shopping for the holidays."

Socks for Seniors is a nationwide service project that supports individual efforts to hold sock drives in local communities.

Founded by Jamie Coyne in Columbus, Ohio, this was to ensure that all seniors, even those without family members, would have a gift to open at the holidays.

New, unwrapped items can be dropped off at the following locations:

Ÿ Coaldale: Tommy's Italian Restaurant, Angela Triplex Theatre

Ÿ Lansford: Sports Zoo, JJ's Hair & Tanning, First Niagara Bank

Ÿ Summit Hill: Hiles Brothers, Batter's Box, St. Gabriel's Italian Club

Ÿ Nesquehoning: Classic Beverage

Ÿ Jim Thorpe: Penn's Peak Radio, Mauch Chunk 5 & 10

Ÿ Lehighton: Midas, Lehighton Kia

Ÿ Tamaqua: Dr. Puddu's office, Rottet Motors, M&S Hardware

To take part in the Socks for Seniors program, simply drop off a new, unwrapped item at a local drop-off box. The deadline is Dec. 13.

Businesses interested in hosting a drop-off box or nursing centers in need of gifts can contact Dulaney at 570-645-4228 or madula@ptd.net.

"Last year's response was amazing. We had enough donations to deliver multiple gifts to residents at six nursing/rehab centers. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people and hope that this year we can spread cheer to even more," said Dulaney.