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Spelman Junior Gia McCrae Supports Houston's Essential Workers Through The L.O.V.E. Project

July 2020

Spelman Junior Gina McCraeAs she adjusted to virtual learning at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, Gia McCrae, C’2022, started The L.O.V.E. Project (Lifting Our Valuable Essentials), a nonprofit organization designed to support essential workers in her native Houston.

Through The L.O.V.E. Project, McCrae, with the help of her mother, presents care baskets that include freshly made cookies from a local bakery, as well as coffee, and in some instances lunch or dinner, to essential workers. McCrae also developed a section on the organization’s website for people to submit letters of appreciation.

"I founded THE L.O.V.E. Project because I believe that, more than ever, these essential workers need to be shown gratitude and celebrated for all they’re doing throughout this pandemic," she said.

"I think having someone my age show gratitude with one-on-one and face-to-face encounters pleasantly surprises them."

Spelman student Gina McCrae Helps Essential WorkersMcCrae, an international studies major interested in global marketing and management consulting, is a global commercial services intern at American Express. She was also one of six Spelman students to win an Executive Leadership Council scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year. She was also the second place winner of the award for excellence in business commentary.The ELC’s scholarship, which was created to build a pipeline for Black corporate talent, supports the academic achievement and development of undergraduate and graduate students.

Last summer, McCrae had two internships: one with the State of Texas Legislature and the second with PaperCity Magazine in her hometown of Houston,Texas. In addition to running the L.O.V.E. project, she also has a passion for languages and travel. She is learning Mandarin and Spanish and has traveled to over twenty countries.

Spelman student Gina McCrae Starts the L.O.V.E. Project"Since May, this nonprofit has flourished more than I could have imagined, with over $1,500 in donations and an expansion to Atlanta, Georgia in just a few weeks. My heart is full of gratitude," McCrae said.

"I am thrilled to continue to do the work and celebrate these essential workers! I encourage everyone to visit our website for more information on how you can Lift Our Valuable Essentials! #theLOVEproject #working2love