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HUGS Project reaches out in Iraq

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A volunteer stitches a cool tie for soldiers serving in Iraq. A volunteer stitches a cool tie for soldiers serving in Iraq.

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - The HUGS Project is expanding their campaign to help Iraqi women.
Volunteers have been using sewing machines to create cool ties to send to troops. The gel filled ties, when soaked in water, help soldiers beat the summer heat. Now the HUGS project is sending their extra sewing machines overseas.

"We're sending sewing machines. We're sending sewing notions, like scissors and pins and fabric," said Karen Stark, the HUGS Project founder.

The Hearts and Minds campaign is an operation to "win Iraqi hearts and minds", and stabilize the country. Volunteers at the HUGS Project said the sewing machines are offering Iraqi women an opportunity to contribute.
The sewing machines are donated, older models with metal gears that will hold up in sand and heavy use.

"They can repair children's clothes; they can make their own clothing, maybe they'll start some businesses," said Stark. "We think the key to getting our guys back and home is to get those people sustainable to where they can take care of themselves."

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