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Socks for Heroes sponsors 5K

In an effort to raise funds for veterans, Socks for Heroes has scheduled a Hop Around the Lake 5K walk/run for March 24 at 8:30 a.m. at Lake Hazle in Hazlehurst.

Cathy Stroud — the organization’s president — said early registration is $20 until March 8. Advance registration is available at www.raceonline.com. Racers can also register at 7:30 a.m. the day of the run for $25.

Children ages 5-10 are invited to participate in a corresponding kids’ run for $15 registration.

The upcoming 5K is intended to draw attention to the wellbeing of retired American military veterans and raise funds for the Socks for Heroes annual yuletide giveaway.

“Everything we do helps us collect items for our veterans,” Stroud said.

Every year at Christmastime, Socks for Heroes delivers bags of useful goodies to veterans across Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. In 2017, they collected nearly 12,000 pair of socks and sundry items, and they hope to match that quota this year.

The organization focuses on brightening the lives of isolated service members. Stroud said many veterans living in public nursing homes don’t have much to call their own, so her team provides them with badly needed creature comforts.

“We have a very soft heart for veterans, and we are 100 percent run by volunteers,” she said.

Socks for Heroes is based in Wesson and comprised of 14 dedicated women. Stroud founded the group five years ago as a means of repaying the dedication and sacrifice of military service members.

“Our veterans are overlooked, and the ones in veteran homes often don’t have family nearby,” she said.

The organization is a certified non-profit, and every penny they raise goes towards their Christmas initiative.

Anyone interested in making a financial contribution to the group can do so through the organization’s Paypal account or contact Shroud via the Socks for Heroes MS Facebook page. All donations are tax deductible.

They also collect unopened, new packs of socks. Physical donations can be dropped off at Another Time Another Place in Wesson and the Bank of Brookhaven.