No, this isn’t yet another quilting blogger asking for donations of quilts/fabric/blocks for Japan. This is a quilting blogger asking everyone to think about what Japan really, REALLY needs, instead of what we really want to give them.
I ran across this blog by a knitter named Mary Mooney who told the story of a local woman with wonderful intentions:
“Earlier this year The Oregonian ran a story about people in the Pacific Northwest looking back on Haiti a year after the quake. It included a segment about a young woman who turned plastic shopping bags into tarps for Haitians. Great idea by a lovely, enthusiastic young person desperate to help. She planned to get 50 made, and others pitched in to make it happen. Know how many of her lovingly constructed tarps made it to Haiti? Three. It would’ve cost $3,000 to ship the rest.”
I don’t need to remind everyone that Japan had both an earthquake AND a tsunami. Their infrastructure is wiped out. The roads are a mess. Aid agencies are having a difficult time simply getting food and water to the survivors. Quilters are a loving, generous bunch, and we simply want to wrap the people of Japan in warm, comforting quilts. Hopefully, in time, we can do so. But for now, let’s think about what Japan needs most. Mary Mooney, the knitting blogger, suggests selling some of your stash or the proceeds of a pattern and donating it to a charity that is targeting Japan for aid. I think we should go ahead and make these quilts, but auction them instead, and send the money to an aid agency of your choice. This is how we can truly help Japan right now.
p.s. My favorite charity, the one I’ll be donating to, is NW Medical Teams, now called Medical Teams International.