Stuffed full of goodies

By Jeff Smith

Women fill purses with various necessities at the Hill City Senior Center Dec. 17. Fifty purses were filled for women in WEAVE and the the Cornerstone Rescue Mission. Items were collected through November to Dec. 17. It took a few hours between two days to get everything sorted and delivered.

Socks, scarves, mittens, flashlights and other items were put into purses on Dec. 17. Forty of the purses were going to the Cornerstone Women’s Shelter and 10 to the Women Escaping A Violent Environment shelter in Custer.

There was also extra items for the Cornerstone Thrift Store. XI Alpha Chi member Sue Anderson said this allows them to earn money for different the needs of the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.

“Anything to help is so appreciated,” Anderson said.

She said they don’t just do Christmastime but donate items year-round.

Women in the shelter stay there until they get an apartment or a place of their own but a lot of the time there is nothing that they can bring with them.

Clothing or other household items are taken there year-round.

The items that could be used are what would be good for someone moving into an apartment: extra dishes, glassware, small appliances, towels and quilts.

“Nothing that doesn’t look good.  We try to find things that are in good condition,” Anderson said.

They try to limit it to things that are gently used, as well.

“Anybody that has something it can be taken in,” Anderson said.

It was the third year the XI Alpha Chi in Hill City collected items for the Purse Project. It wasn’t just people from Hill City who donated items. Lot of different people helped with it. Many people in a large area reached out to help. Hill City Senior Citizen Center members and Community Lutheran Church members contributed quite a bit to the Purse Project. Around 15 women were filling the purses, which ranged from being basic to extravagant.

Anderson said the amount of help was overwhelming.

“We appreciate the support too. Lots of it from Hill City and the surrounding area,” Anderson said.

Most of the items in the purses were personal hygiene items like Kleenex, toothpaste, combs and Chapstick. Some cash was also given to the women’s shelter.

Anderson hopes the program continues each year going forward.

On Dec. 14, women with Xi Alpha Chi were busy again putting together gifts for the “Gifts From the Heart” program. Children in the WEAVE shelter receive 10 of the gift bundles and the rest go to children in Hill City and Keystone.

Sherryl Alexander said the sorting takes about a couple of hours. It was a little bit longer this year because each child who received a gift also received a pillow and pillowcase.

This was a new piece this year due to the Hill City Quilt Show committee coming up with the idea to have people sew pillowcases and donate them.

Xi Alpha Chi member Marcy Whyte said the best part is seeing the children’s eyes light up when they deliver the gifts.

Deliveries of the gifts started on Dec. 16. Sometimes they can’t get all of the gifts delivered on one day and sometimes people aren’t home.

“We don’t feel comfortable leaving them on the doorsteps so we might go back on a Monday or Tuesday,” Whyte said.

This year, 230 pillowcases were donated for both of the service projects. Xi Alpha Chi purchased some pillows and also received money donations to purchsse pillows. Wal-Mart donated money to purchase pillows. Beta Rho and the Heart of the Hills Quilting Guild did too.