We have decided to donate fabric to make quilts for Ukraine. We have a lot of participants, and hopefully you have been following our progress so far.
The company that I have connected with to ship the quilts is located in Chicago. It is one of their many locations. It’s the closest one to us.
When I started this, I knew that I needed to find someone to ship the quilts and find someone that would get them to where they were needed. I couldn’t even begin to ask people to sew quilts until I secured these two things.
I initially made contact with the company, Meest. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal had listed them as participants in getting aid to Ukraine. They weren’t answering their phones, but they had a chat box on their website. I communicated with someone, who assured me that if I boxed the quilts and labeled them “humanitarian aid” and “quilts” they would get them there.
They posted frequent updates about shipping. At one point they said that they could no longer ship for free. I understood, and had fully planned to pay for the shipping.
Then, they stated that they no longer needed diapers. They were posting updates, and somehow, I had a feeling that I really needed to talk with an actual person.
I tried calling multiple times. At first, I just got an answering machine. I left messages. Then, I called back again. The voice mailbox was full. I couldn’t even leave a message. By now, I am kind of panicked because a lot of people were making quilts to send. I finally dialed their number in New Jersey. There, I got a real person. She told me that if I had no success with Chicago, that I could indeed drive them to New Jersey.
Okay. Today was the day that I was going to drive to Chicago and try and find a real person at the shipping company. I googled the address. I drove to a very industrial area. There was no signage, just an address. I was beginning to worry. There were many doors, but no signage. I tried each door. I felt a little like Alice in Wonderland. Finally, I opened a door and there sat a man. There was a large map behind him of Eastern Europe and Russia. I was in the right place. The map was in Cyrillic.
I introduced myself and sat across from the man. We had a lovely, but sad conversation. He told me about a man that worked for them that had taken humanitarian aid into Mariupol. He was from Chicago. He had 6 children. He was killed.
He assured me that when I brought the quilts down, they would ship them for us, but that they probably won’t go into the war zone. They would most likely end up at a church in Poland or Romania to be distributed to refugees. I told him that was wonderful. I thanked him and drove home.
I am very thankful and relieved. I have had a lot of people praying for the success of this. I cannot wait to deliver a ton of quilts to be shipped over.