MSU 'Simple Gifts' Helps Out World Charities

Dorothy Frederickson isn't your typical grandmother.

The former Ingham County Commissioner spends eight months out of the year in the Caribbean country of Haiti, where her organization, Soaring Unlimited, helps people improve their quality of life.

"What I've tried to do as a community developer, is try to assess needs and try to figure how to find the resources to meet those needs," said Frederickson.

It is the kind of organization the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine dreams about for its 'Simple Gifts' program.

"She started with shoes and we've been getting soap, clothing and other kinds of things," said Pat Grauer, Director of Public Relations for the College.

Grauer helped start 'Simple Gifts' back in 2005. Soaring Unlimited is one of many charities it helps out.

"We send out an e-mail, each month, after we've chosen a reputable charity," said Grauer. "We put up posters, people fill up our laundry baskets and then, we ship it out."

Made possible by donations from students and staff of the college, 'Simple Gifts' has donated more than 22,000 items to charities around the world since starting out. On Saturday, Grauer delivered a car trunk-full of donations to Frederickson's house.

Things like clothes, soaps and even something for the children Soaring Unlimited helps out.

"We sponsor about 150 kids in 21 different schools over in Haiti," said Frederickson. "They're all orphans and we give them school supplies three times a year so they give us a lot of school supplies they have collected."

All things Frederickson will take back with her to Haiti when she returns next month.

For more information on 'Simple Gifts' and Soaring Unlimited, you can visit their websites:

soaringunlimited.org or com.msu.edu/PR/Simple_Gifts.htm


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