Happy New Year!
Posted by alpinefabrics on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
Happy New Year! We are excited about 2011 and wish everyone a year with health and happiness. We have much to be grateful for. I really love this time of year. A time of giving, a time of reflection.
I think we all meet people on occasion that open our eyes, inspire and motivate us to do good. I meet such a person a couple of years back named "Liz". She is a beautiful person inside and out and taught me what it means to help others. Liz visits refugee families that have recently relocated to our area. Many of these refugees have spent years to decades living in refugee camps, surviving on the very basics of life. Some families have had children at the camps and the children have not known any other life away from the camps. Of course refugees are sent to many parts of the world, but when they arrive in the U.S. they are placed in modest apartments and given a bed, a blanket and minimal furnishings. For a few months, food and shelter are provided by the government. There are also a few social programs that aid in their transition.
My eyes were opened to the needs of refugees after meeting Liz and seeing the importance of helping them simulate into our community. Many religious organizations help, but it seems that more is always needed.
Often times the families are in need of the very basics: shoes, coats, cooking basics, more blankets, cleaning supplies etc, and always towels. For children, many have never owned a book. They need backpacks for school, clothing, shoes, socks etc....and they don't have to be new. The first time I visited with a family, I was amazed at their hospitality. They wanted to share with us what little they had. The joy and happiness they feel, being in new a country, was felt even if they spoke little to no English. One family I met simply asked for a small blender to make baby food for her young daughter because the store bought baby food is too expensive for their limited budget. I just happened to have a such a blender in the back of my cupboard that I never use, and was glad to give it away.
With spring just around the corner, my hope is that next time you clean out your closet, get new towels or pots and pans, you might consider finding a refugee family in your area (or extended area) that could benefit from your hand me downs. I know so many of us have these extra items, just sitting around our homes. Quilters and Sewers are some of the most generous and thoughtful people I know, so I thought I would share my experience.
Thanks for reading.
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