Portland Navy mom wins $50K charity contest

Portland Navy mom wins $50K charity contest


by Wayne Havrelly, KGW.com


Posted on September 3, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Updated Sunday, Sep 5 at 9:21 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Molly Gisi is a Southeast Portland mom who came up with a prize-winning idea two years ago when one of her two sons in the Navy asked her to write to the sailors who never get letters.

She took that uplifting effort to the Internet and today thousands of Moms are involved in supporting service men and women around the world.

"Molly's Adopt a Sailor" program is about to win a $50,000 grant from Pepsi for it's amazing work. 

"I'm just a Mom. I'm a clerk at Tri-met, I have no businesses behind me, I just wanted to show the kids overseas that they were not forgotten," said Gisi.

"Molly's Adopt a Sailor" project now does much more than send letters. There are now monthly packing parties in 42 different states.  That's where special care packages are created and sent overseas to troops from all branches of the military. 

Molly's Moms also travel to homecoming celebrations to support the troops who have no one.

Recently, Molly boarded a ship in San Diego with a large group of Moms from across the country. 

They brought thousands of cookies, plus chicken wings carried by "Hooters" girls. 

"We brought the cookies and hugs, the Hooter girls, well they brought everything else," said Gisi.  

Gisi uses Facebook, Twitter and her own website to run her registered non-profit organization which has sent out more than 10,000 care packages and letters over the past two years. 

The single mother has managed to do all this, while working full-time for Tri-Met.  

Officials with Pepsi tell Newschannel 8 once the verification paperwork is complete, "Molly's Adopt a Sailor" will start receiving $50,000 in grant money.

That should happen in about two weeks. 

"Half the money will go towards shipping costs," said Gisi. "The rest will go towards buying care package items, like insoles for boots and beef jerky."

Gisi hopes to eventually create partnerships with businesses who want to support the troops to make the grant money go even further.  "It was just an idea, and apparently it was a pretty good one," said Gisi.    

Molly's Adopt a Sailor Website

Molly's Adopt a Sailor Facebook Page

Molly's Adopt a Sailor Twitter Page