Oct 17, 2022
How A Donation Quilt Affects The Recipient
I recently traveled to Krakow, Poland with #WrapUkraineWithQuilts (WUWQ) - a non-profit organization bringing quilts to Ukrainian Refugees living in Poland. Interestingly enough, there is no word in the Ukraine language that translates to "quilt". Quilts had to be explained to the refugees.
As quilters, we all know a quilt is so much more than a blanket. It is an act of love and hard work to make one. Quilters work from the heart through their hands to bring warmth to the recipient - not only physical warmth, but warmth to the soul.
Through translators, we found out that our quilt donations had a profound affect on the refugees. They were very grateful to have a beautiful quilt to call their own. Most refugees left their homes with nothing more than a back pack. Some of the shelters only provided cots - no bedding. The quilts were a way to snuggle and get warm. But they were so much more...
They conveyed to the refugees that they were not forgotten. The world saw what they were going through and, indeed, cared. They were SEEN. Their plight was not a forgotten headline. Their suffering is real and on-going. The refugees were validated and for a brief moment they got to feel special, loved and "normal".
I can't thank #WrapUkraineWithQuilts enough for the opportunity to be part of their mission - bringing quilts and hope to Ukrainian refugees living far from their war-torn homes and families. Not only did we pass out (literally 1 ton) of quilts, we set up a permanent sewing space and taught refugees to make small projects that they can sell and hopefully make enough money to get out of the shelter and get their own apartment.
I was privileged to witness the many miracles that happened around WUWQ. The organizers were constantly telling us that the miracles never stopped and kept growing with each passing day. Call it God, call it Law Of Attraction, call it coincidence (I think not!) - but it was evident everyday. Here is just one example that touched my heart.
We set up the sewing space in Katowice, Poland. The space was donated (another miracle) by an Afghani refugee who purchased an abandoned "resort" building with a professional kitchen in it where he cooks/delivers lunch and dinner for refugees everyday. Katowice is about an hour away from Krakow. Some of the refugees we taught at the sewing space came from Krakow, but it was difficult for them to get there. They asked us when there would be a closer space, maybe in Krakow, that they could get to easier. A desire was launched.
Meanwhile, back in Krakow, Pastor Tony - a missionary that purchased an abandoned hotel to house the refugees was sending out a prayer of his own. He had set up "apartments" for refugees, but they were in need of blankets because winter was coming.
On the third day of our trip we planned on passing out the quilts at a couple of refugee shelters. One place we were planning on going to, had an issue and we had to find another location...pastor Tony's hotel. We showed up with hundred's of quilts and passed them out to excited refugees. We explained to pastor Tony about how we had set up a sewing space in Katowice. He said he had a space in his hotel that we could use for an additional sewing space! Ta Da! WUWQ now has a Krakow sewing space and pastor Tony had all the quilts he could use. Now THAT is divine!
I was with WUWQ in Poland for a week. I will save some other stories for my next blog. Stay tuned.