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For a decade, the GACEC orchestrated the Heart 2 Heart Hugs campaign. It provided warm winter clothes to Delaware school districts for homeless children. “The thought behind it was to provide a warm comfy hug to Delaware’s homeless and children in foster care. We did this through warm winter clothes,” said Wendy Strauss, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens.
The campaign initially started as Project Hug and a Sleeping Bag Campaign. “Sleeping bags gave children something they could carry from place to place that was theirs; a comfort item providing a sense of security,” said Strauss.
The GACEC accepted new blankets & afghans, comforters, snow pants, gloves, scarves, hats, coats, sleeping bags, pajamas, snowsuits, buntings, socks, mittens, hoodies. Donations came from generous private citizens and businesses. Many handmade blankets, scarves, and afghans were donated by crafty people with big hearts. Companies gave coats and many sleeping bags.
Donated items were distributed on Valentine’s Day to schools and foster care programs. Many of the donations came when stores were reducing their winter wear. This also saved money for individuals who made purchases. The campaign helped schools restock their depleted inventory for the following winter.
Over the years, the GACEC and the people and businesses who participated in the Heart 2 Heart Hugs campaign made a difference in the lives of thousands of homeless children by helping to keep them warm in the winter.
Below are some photos taken over the years. To see additional ones please visit our photo gallery.