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Providence employee works to ensure hands of needy warm for the holiday

by: Submitted photo courtesy of Providence <b>LOADS OF GLOVES</b> — Gina Jackson, a patient relations representative at Providence Medical Group-Sherwood, displays some of the 180 pairs of gloves she helped collect for the Union Gospel Mission and distributed them on Thanksgiving Day.

A long-time Providence Medical Group employee helped make Thanksgiving Day a little brighter for Union Gospel Mission residents, supplying many of them with badly needed gloves.

Gina Jackson, who works at the Providence clinic in Sherwood, began the glove drive a couple of weeks before the holiday. Before she knew it, employees and patients began bringing in a variety of the gloves and mittens.

Jackson said she got the idea after serving dinner at the mission, located just off of West Burnside Street, last year. While she saw plenty of coats and hats being handing out, there were no gloves to be seen.

So she set out signs in the clinic's front reception area, where a box was set out along with another box placed in the facility's break room.

'We collected 180 pair,' said Jackson, who has been with Providence for 15 years and works as a patient relations representative. 'We could have used 1,000.'

On Thanksgiving Day, Jackson and her boyfriend, Joe Herbert, headed to Union Gospel Mission (a well-known Burnside landmark for the homeless and recovering addicts that has been in existence for 70 years) with four bags of gloves.

She said as they were walking up to the mission door when she saw several people leaving. One man asked another, 'Hey dude, do you have any gloves?' The other gentleman said he didn't, Jackson recalled. However, Jackson's boyfriend then piped up. 'He said, 'Hey dude, we got gloves.''

On the way in, they were asked to give a nearby woman a pair as well who said the maroon-colored hand-warmers were in her favorite color.

'Of course they were gone in no time,' Jackson said of the gloves. 'We were there 21/2 hours and they ran out probably the first 45 minutes.'

Jackson said she was glad to help, saying the glove drive fit into two of Providence's core values of 'respect and compassion.'