I've been meaning to post about this for a while now, but life keeps getting away from me! A while back, a friend from my hometown contacted me about a relief effort for victims of war torn areas. She
"IB♥L3D is about surging sewing, quilting and knitting materials into the central Iraq. I am stationed in Baghdad, but this next surge of bundles is aimed at Fallujah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallujah), in the Anbar Province to the West of Baghdad. It's also aimed at a specific demographic -- widows.
Why Fallujah? It's a word and place that resonates with many in the military. It's where insurgents captured, killed, and paraded the bodies of four Blackwater employees. It's where there were tough violent struggles, the first and second battles of Fallujah. It's a place that even today looks as if the fighting just ended today. And it's a place where, even today, there is crime, violence, insurgent groups and attacks on the guilty and the innocent.
I tell people that what today separates Japan from places like Fallujah is the gunfire. And I tell people that what separates IBOL from other efforts is our ability to go to places like Fallujah, when others just can't. Fallujah is exactly the kind of place IBOL was meant to go.
And why widows? I don't think there's a tougher life in, than that of a widow. It's about widows because so much of IBOL is about women, and wives, and mothers, and daughters. It's about widows because change isn't going to come from angry men, or their weapons, but from homes, and families, and the women that keep them all together.
But, enough with the soapbox. Let's talk IBOL.
The goal is to get stuff into the mail before the end of April. Jared and crew will take all the help they can get, so send one box, send 53 -- send what you can and what you want to send. It's a good crew in Fallujah, it's an honor to work with and support them on this.
The Post Office will make you fill out a Custom form. Fear not -- if they ask you for Jared's phone number, just give 'em yours. Or mine. It won't matter -- no one can call us here anyway.
Yes, by all means, slip something inside for a kid. A toy, some chalk, some crayons, a bouncy ball. A pair of shoes. Not a lot, just a little, if you're so inclined. Where there are widows in Iraq, there are kids in need, too.
Anything and everything gets put to use here -- this, after Iraq was under sanctions for so long. Bigger is definitely better -- bigger pieces of fabric, bigger hanks of yarn (send the whole bolt; don't sent the whole sheep).
The general information is here: http://ibol.wordpress.com/what-to-send/
Information on how to build a bundle is here: http://ibol.wordpress.com/building-a-bundle/
When all else fails, the frequently asked questions are here: http://ibol.wordpress.com/faq/
The Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Iraqi-Bundles-of-Love/114608201774
Honestly, I think the IBOL Kitteh stuff is the funniest part of this project: http://ibol.wordpress.com/tag/ibol-kitteh/
Simple fabric is good. Stripes work, too. Scissors are OK. Ditto for needles -- yes, knitting needles, too. Fabric is far more likely to be used for clothing than for quilting, but that's not an absolute. I'm keeping the mailing address off of the web, as best I can.
And did I mention that bigger is definitely better -- bigger pieces of fabric, bigger skeins of yarn?
Did I miss something? Let me know.
And if you really want to make my day, take and send to me photos of you and your bundle. I love getting them, and I love having them to share on the website. "
I know that I am nearing the end of April here already but they said to go ahead and post this now anyway...
"Yes, tell people it's very close to the deadline for putting them into the mail, but to not worry -- I am lining up one more go-around for this summer, in advance of Ramadan. So the next round may kick off right away or sometime in late may (to get things into the mail before the end of June, I suspect).