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My Hands Are Tied, Or Are They?

January 14, 2010

I have been reading in the newspaper, with great sadness, of the latest events that have taken place in Haiti.  Living in an earthquake zone myself, I am terribly fearful that something will happen here.  And of course we never know when, or if, it will happen.  Or how devastating it may be.  Yet because I have never lived through the experience, I can only imagine what it must be like.

It sounds as though the earthquake in Haiti has pretty devastating, even beyond my comprehension.  Such a terrible thing has happened to a country already dealing with terrible things.  My heart goes out to Haitians everywhere, and especially those in Haiti who are struggling with injury and loss of family and friends, home and livelihood.

My hands are tied, being so far away.  Or are they?  As much as I’d like to fly down to help out – what on earth would I do?  I’d just be in the way of those trained specifically to assist in situations like this.  Then I thought of organizing a group of quilters to make quilts to send to those affected by the earthquake.  I even contacted an organization in the US called Haiti Peace Quilts to see if they had started to organize something similar.

Here is the response I received from Jean at Haiti Peace Quilts:

Heather,
So nice to hear from you.  I really appreciate your inclination to bring some help to Haiti.  We are in the midst of trying to organize our efforts to respond to this disaster.  My sense is that attempting to ship quilts could be very problematic.  Shipping, even in the best of circumstances, is challenging and items can often take months to arrive and/or clear customs – that’s if you have a contact available with whom you can have good communication to receive it from the port. At this time, it could be much, much worse.  In addition, warm quilts are not as necessary as they might be in less tropical places.  January can be a bit cool at night, though they might be useful to sleep on top of as the thermometer rises. (Usually we’re trying to figure out how little we can wear at night in order just to tolerate the heat!)  Perhaps there are other groups who are organizing this type of initiative, but I’m not aware of them at this time.
One thing that we would appreciate is letting your readers know that over the coming months PeaceQuilts will be looking for support in our efforts to address immediate needs in the aftermath of this disaster, and then continue our project of helping poor women in Haiti through quilting. This can come through a variety of methods, all outlined on our website at http://www.peacequilts.org
The story of these quilters is a compelling one, which is not only timely, but inspirational, demonstrating the power of quilting to bring women together to better their lives. We would be happy to help you bring this story to your readers by providing any additional information or photographs.
Best Wishes,
Jeanne

Just one way to help.   Please visit http://www.peacequilts.org to find out more about the organization, Haiti Peace Quilts, and learn more about how you can aid a fellow quilter in Haiti.

~Heather

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2010 3:39 am

    I thought the same thing and the news was saying money for supplies is what they need now.
    Maybe those who are in a quilt group could do quilts for raffle to raise funds for the red cross?
    Going to go check out their site.

    Debbie

  2. January 15, 2010 8:53 pm

    Thanks for this post Heather. I just also read about http://www.crafthope.com that is selling on Etsy to raise $ for Doctors Without Borders heading to Haiti.

  3. January 17, 2010 4:07 pm

    thanks Heather for contacting them and sharing this with us…makes us feel a bit closer to those in need
    Valerie
    http://www.pastimesonline.ca/vals-quilting/

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