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Thanks to PC(USA), local shelters will help keep folks warmer this winter

Generous donors from all corners bring socks, underwear to Gift Project

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Underwear and socks: simple gifts, simple necessities. Presbyterian Women (PW) in the three hosting presbyteries (Twin Cities Area, Minnesota Valleys, and Northern Waters) collaborated to organize this year’s Gift Project for the 219th General Assembly (2010).

Those coming to Minneapolis were invited to bring underwear, socks and gift cards with them. Expecting to receive 1,500 donations, PW had more than 6,800 by Wednesday morning.

Throughout the week the women separated and bagged children’s, women’s and men’s socks and underwear. Ann Rock, co-chair of the Gift Project, was surprised by everyone’s desire to help. She was overwhelmed by “the generosity of people who’ve come here… I think they have a real heart for mission.”

A number of commissioners commented on the accessibility of the project. People were able to participate at any level – spending any amount from $3 to $300. The Minneapolis-based Target company gave $1,000 for store credit, which the co-chairs used to purchase gift cards worth $20 each.

Even during the interview for this article, several gentlemen approached the Gift Project booth with immediate needs. Gently and respectfully, Rock found the appropriate sizes and shared supplies with them.

Minister commissioner from Donegal Presbytery, the Rev. Jane Deford, participates in a thrift shop ministry with her congregation. She still wanted to contribute to the Gift Project, however, and brought donations to General Assembly. “Quite frankly, underwear and socks offer a dignity to the person wearing it that’s only seen on the inside.”

A total of 18 shelters will receive socks and underwear.