AJH, local doctors collect socks for homeless

Courtesy photoDr. James DiResta, practice manager Hollie Johnson and Dr. Angela Barnes show the more than 500 pairs of socks that were donated to help homeless people.

NEWBURYPORT — Local podiatrists Dr. Angela Barnes and Dr. James J. DiResta partnered again with Anna Jaques Hospital for the Sox for Socks program and collected more than 500 pairs of socks in February for homeless people.

Sox for Socks, named after the program’s largest supporter — the Boston Red Sox, collects socks for homeless men, women and children through Boston Health Care for the Homeless, according to a press release.

Barnes said she believes that “one’s general health is intrinsically linked to our foot health and protecting feet all year long is vital to our overall health.

“Winter in New England produces many cold days that upon overexposure to the cold and damp can result in frostbite and loss of limb for those less fortunate,” she said. “Providing socks from our drive is just one of many opportunities for all of us to help.”

Homeless men and women who live in shelters and on the streets spend much of their time outside and are often exposed to rain, snow, ice and cold temperatures, leaving many to wear soaking wet socks and shoes for days or weeks at a time.

These circumstances can result in serious infections and ailments, such as immersion foot or frostbite. The best way to prevent these types of conditions is to keep feet clean, dry and warm, the Newburyport podiatrists said.

Collection boxes were hosted at Anna Jaques and the Newburyport Podiatry practice of DiResta and Barnes at 37½ Forrester Street Professional Building in Newburyport. Hospital employees and patients of the doctors rallied around this program and the socks will be delivered to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless this month.

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