Blankets, Baked Goods, and Bands: Helping HIAS Takes Many Forms

By Sharon Samber,

Blankets, Baked Goods, and Bands: Helping HIAS Takes Many Forms

Welcome blankets for refugees will be distributed at HIAS affiliates.

(courtesy of the Welcome Blanket Project)

To say there have been many good wishes to HIAS over the last few weeks since the tragedy of the Pittsburgh shooting would be an understatement. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming.

Some of those wishes have taken the form of donations–hundreds of people started personal fundraisers, while others just wanted to share personal stories that connected their families to HIAS.

There have also been a number of people and organizations who have felt compelled to try something different, often something creative, to express how they feel or the work that they do. They want to create a message of hope and solidarity, whether it’s through art, or food or music, or something even more unusual.

The examples below are simply meant to give an idea of the varied kinds of support that HIAS has received. They show the best in human nature, the ways people look to make some good out of a disaster and build a new sense of purpose.

The Welcome Blanket Project calls itself a national craftivist project, as it “reconceptualizes” President Trump's 2000-mile concrete border wall into 2000 miles of yarn knitted into welcome blankets for new immigrants and refugees to the U.S. Welcome Blanket asks participants to knit/crochet/quilt/sew welcome blankets and write their family's own immigration stories with words of welcome in accompanying notes. The blankets are displayed in art exhibits and then are distributed to immigrants/refugees through resettlement agencies. Hadassah Margolis, the group’s COO, told HIAS of plans to send blankets to HIAS resettlement partners across the country, and already 300 blankets have been requested.

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