In the last five years, we’ve seen many changes in DV shelters and their relationships with their communities. We started seeing more shelters accepting pets. One shelter in Alaska received a $3000 grant to build a kennel. Many shelters provide transitional housing and help residents find jobs. Some have improved services for those with physical challenges, while others became gender inclusive and provided more special programs for senior residents.
But all shelters were grateful for their gifts from the P.S.P. A letter from Haven of Hope said, “It is obvious that what you do is a sincere act of love that provides support and heartfelt caring far beyond their circumstances. You truly are making a difference.”
The Pink Slipper Project underwent changes as well. Lynne Bergman joined the team in the summer of 2015. Lynne runs a crochet and knitting charity group in Arizona and has been a member of P.S.P. for years. You “see” her managing most evening hours of the challenges as she is our only staff member in the Mountain Time Zone (AZ).
The number of challenges has increased, often including both Happy Hands and Cozies for Pet challenges. We were able to increase the number of slippers and washcloths we provided. By 2018 , we knew we needed more help with our mission. Alinda had been a P.S.P. member since 2016 and was happy to join us as a team member. Julia joined us as well and shared this with us: “I discovered P.S.P. when searching for potential service projects as part of my Lenten journey several years ago. During those six weeks, I discovered and contributed to many worthwhile charities, but the P.S.P. was the one that grabbed my attention and touched my soul. As an assistant, I have become aware of the incredible generosity of the members of P.S.P. I am truly honored to be part of this amazing group of individuals who collectively touch thousands of women at a time when they desperately need care and support. We are faceless strangers to these women, but I am confident each one can feel a warm hug of comfort every time they put on the slippers hand made for them.”
Bonnie joined us, too, and said, “Crocheting has been my favorite craft for over 50 years. After retiring as an English teacher in 2012, I donated many items to charities, but when I found P.S.P. on Facebook, I knew I had found my home. P.S.P. had a challenge every week. I looked forward to pledging slippers, washcloths and pet “snuggles”, all items I enjoyed making. As time went by, I admired the administrators of this project in the efficient, friendly and positive manner in which they managed the challenges and acknowledged pledges. My admiration sparked a desire to be more involved in its’ worthwhile goals of helping domestic violence victims. When I joined the team , the P.S.P. administrators were, and continue to be, extremely patient with my training. I feel I am a part of a great project and among friends.”
P.S.P. was given a wonderful honor late in 2018. We were featured in Annie’s Caring Crochet Club and we had many new visitors to our page. Early in 2019, we actually had two challenges a week so as to include all our new members. This pace was very hard to maintain, as it takes time to make contact with shelters and receive the information needed for a challenge, and we hope that all our members will be patient as we try to give them an opportunity to warm the hearts and toes of our shelter residents. From the beginning in 2009 through the end of July, our members have sent 24,695 pairs of slippers and 22,450 washcloths, as well as numerous pet blankets ("cozies") and knit, crochet, and craft supplies for various shelters across the USA!
We hope you will all continue to be a part of the P.S.P. family as we celebrate our 10th anniversary and see what the future has in store. It has been our pleasure and privilege to serve as the P.S.P. team and we want to thank all of the members of the P.S.P. family who make this all possible.
Rachel Terrill, PSP Coordinator
Judy, Lynne, Julia, Alinda, and Bonnie - PSP Assistants