I just talked to our contact at the Red Cross, and they
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited about the quilts!!!! She's opened all but
one of the boxes (to prepare them for overseas shipping to Armenia) and says
that everybody in the office has been oohing and aahing. Just when they
think they've found the prettiest one, she hears gasps and more ooooooooos.
They are absolutely besides themselves. People from other divisions and one
of the VP's have been caught fondling. Now the delegates from Bosnia,
Georgia, etc. are fighting amongst themselves for the next batch!!!!! She's
had to fend them off with a stick to keep this batch. She says that she
hears the other people in the office muttering to themselves about all the
love put into these quilts and how heartwarming they all are. She loves all
of the labels telling where the quilts came from and messages to the
children. She promises that they'll all be translated for the kids. I was
surprized at how touched they seem about the quilts since they are in the
business of receiving donations. However, she said that even though gifts
of money are wonderful and needed, the quilts were so *very* exciting
because of the love and time and caring and personal handiwork that so many
people put into them.
She plans to do a display of the quilts for a week or
so in the American
Embassy in Armenia. It's housed in what used to be the Great Hall - huge
and massive to say the least. She wants to hang some of the quilts for
awhile, so that she can share with the Armenians, Americans, RC people, etc.
all the love and handiwork that's been sent there from here. I told her
that was fine, as long as the kids got them in short order. She promised
that they would be distributed to the kids well before it got cold outside.
As for the next batch.... We had been planning on a huge
batch (~200) in
October for Bosnia. Since all the RC delegates are now fighting about who's
going to get the next batch, we've decided to split them up between Bosnia
and Georgia (the country). We're going to start the shipping process to
Bosnia in the very near future. The shipping infrastructure is there, but
it's not as [easy] as Armenia or Georgia. Georgia will get our next
shipment in October. The goal is to get _all_ of the quilts (to Armenia,
Bosnia, and Georgia) distributed before the cold hits. (Remember, most of
these areas are without heat in the winter.) She is making sure that the
shipping routes used for these are secure (RC trucks, to RC delegates, etc).
She says, frankly, that if we just shipped them, they would quickly make it
to the black market. This way we know, with some accountability, that they
got to the kids.
I wish I could convey how much excitement and emotion
she was "exuding" over
the phone. She says that these will be the nicest things these children
have ever had. According to her, the textiles are usually very drab in
color and rough. A child may have a blanket, but it's crocheted out of very
harsh and scratchy yarn. Bright, soft, cuddly, warm quilts like these just
aren't something these kids get. To have them hand made by somebody with
love and prayers will mean so much to them.
I could go on and on about how she was describing your
quilts to me over the
phone and the labels, but this is long enough. Suffice it to say that the
RC is pleased, and so, so happy that they've agreed to work with us on this
project. Keep the quilts coming to BJ! I know that this seems like a long,
drawn out process, but we're touching lives clear around the globe. That is
something that even I did not dream of when this started. We are going to
make these children just a little happier and WARMER. That's more than I
could have asked for. Keep the quilts coming - it gets cold in Bosnia and
coordinators, Sunshine Quilt Project