By Ling Guo
Elsie Stromberg, a refugee during World War II, recalls receiving a school kit that made it possible for her to attend school.
She now makes quilts and kits for today’s refugees. Elsie said
it pains her to see violence disrupting the lives of so many people. For her, education is a priority – “If you educate people, you hopefully decrease the violence in the world.”
Everyone has her own motivation for making quilts and kits.
Loretta has made quilts & kits since the mid-1960s and hopes her lovingly created items will be blessings to recipients because it’s “a blessing to be able to share.”
Volunteering for Lutheran World Relief’s (LWR) Quilts & Kits Ministry is a way for people to get involved –through thrifty shopping for supplies and collecting sheets to sewing, packing kits and helping with shipping costs.
Your quilts and kits serve people worldwide and inspire staff and volunteers at LWR’s warehouses in Minnesota and Maryland. Loretta and Beth are veterans: They have seen countless shipments accounted for and shipped in their 40-plus years at the Maryland warehouse.
[bctt tweet=”Everyone has her own motivation for making quilts and kits. ” username=”womenoftheelca”]
It takes about a month from the time the items arrive at warehouses to when they are processed, repacked and ready for shipment. LWR staff work with partners overseas to determine what items are most needed. Once the kits are prepared for shipment, it takes up to two months to arrive at their destination by ocean freight.
LWR partners in other countries help clear the items through customs, transfer them to a safe storage for distribution and sort them according to local needs. These steps ensure your gifts arrive safely to their destination in a way the respects the dignity of the recipient.
In the highlands of Peru, your quilts and kits improve dairy farmers’ standard of living and enable them to sell their cheese in regional and national markets.
Families typically spend 30 to 40 percent of their incomes to send kids to school with uniforms and the proper supplies. Your school kits help families save for other necessities.
In rural areas, medical clinics are far and few between. By receiving baby care kits and quilts, families are encouraged to make the long treks to clinics where women receive care and training.
With the LWR Kit Tracker, you can follow the journey of your gifts as they make their way around the world.
Lingrong Guo (郭玲榕 in Chinese) is the 2016-2017 Lutheran Volunteer Corps program assistant for Lutheran World Relief’s external relations department. Read her story here. To read this story in its entirety, visit LWR here. Photos and videos from LWR.