Monday, September 15, 2008

afghans for Afghans update

I really enjoyed this update, and thought you might, too. - sm

Dear Knitters, Crocheters, and Weavers for Afghanistan,

** Rectangle Shawls for New Mothers **

Drum roll, please ... crashing cymbals ... strike up the band ...

The count on the Rectangle Shawls for New Mothers campaign was 554!

554 first-rate shawls for the women receiving services at CURE Hospital in Kabul.

Oh, these shawls are gorgeous! Volunteers across the US and Canada truly knocked themselves out in terms of color, design, and fiber quality. The shawls are large rectangles to conform to Afghan customs for modesty (and warmth, too!)

Many of you modeled the shawls and posted photos on your blogs and a few on our site ... wearing the shawls in the Afghan way ... a moving cross-cultural gesture. Among the 554 rectangle shawls are about 80 superb hand-woven shawls (generated through the leadership of Syne Mitchell of WeaveCast, thank you!).

Can you imagine the new moms in Afghanistan receiving these shawls? Picture that! We hope this pleases all of you and is our ultimate thanks. We are eager for the shawls to get to their recipients, but like most of our shipments, the shawls take several months to arrive in Kabul. Our cartons are aggregated with medical supplies being shipped on containers. After the shawls are distributed at CURE Hospital, we will receive a report back and ask for some photos. We
will share this information with you when available.

Thank you for using your time, talents, and resources to tangibly show your concern, friendship, and respect for the women of Afghanistan. Thank you for sharing the work of your own hands with people who have little material goods and are surviving in difficult times. Our rectangle shawls will be a special treat of comfort and beauty -- and warm the torsos and hearts of the recipients.

Many of you have emailed to ask if we are going to make rectangle shawls again ... we would love to have a similar campaign in the future, but no plans yet. We have to wait for CURE Hospital to give us the OK. They may want to wait until these shawls arrive before making a decision. We'll keep pressing for the idea.


** Vests for Youth Campaign are OK, Too! **

Just a quick note to say that we forgot to mention *vests* on our last email announcement about hustling on the Youth Campaign in time for winter.

Wool vests for the girls and boys (ages 7-14) are also a much-needed garment and can be whipped up in time for our October 14 due date (October 3 for Canadians via in BC). Pullover vests are terrific for layering across the seasons. If you make a button-front style, please be sure that buttons close up against the cold, from top to bottom. Consider neck and armhole coverage when picking a pattern -- room to fit over another garment, but not too much exposure.

Youth campaign details are here for reference --

Mailing addresses and general guidelines are here --

There's still time for volunteers to knit and crochet for the kids, if you start this week. Please knit socks and knit and crochet mittens, if you can't squeeze in a vest or sweater. Or, get together with friends and make a group blanket. We don't need as many hats, so no need for us to encourage the hats (but if you made hats already, do send them in, not to worry.)

We estimate that we have about 40 of the 80 needed cartons filled now. With about a month to go.

After arriving by plane (what a treat!), our wool garments and blankets will be distributed to girls and boys at health and rehabilitation centers in Kabul and Bamiyan this winter. Your handmade gifts are going to make a difference for these kids very soon and when needed the most. Soon enough, we'll all be reading the articles about the brutal Afghan winter. Thank you for jumping on this opportunity to help the most vulnerable on the other side of the world.

Thank you continuing to remember the people of Afghanistan and for taking action. Your participation matters.

Much gratitude,
Ann and colleagues at

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