Saturday, August 29, 2009

Iraqi Bundles of Love

I don't know about you but this whole war that has been waging for what seems like forever, frequently ties my heart in knots.  During the time that the Americans have been in Iraq, I've gotten a master's degree, gotten married, had two children, worked at a new job so long it isn't even new anymore, and just generally been living my life one milestone at a time.  For Iraqis, I imagine it is the same except for the constant war raging around them.  I've started to get used to it, as, again I'm imagining, many Iraqis have.  At times, it seems unbelievable and definitely unacceptable.  But, it usually recedes into the background of the day-to-day. 

This undercurrent of frustration and helplessness that I feel was pierced this week when I learned about this project from Sew Mama Sew and At The End of this Row.  It's called Iraqi Bundles of Love and it is catching fire.  It's a short term project lead by a guy, Art, who is stationed in Iraq.  His wife is a quilter and he realized that she had extra fabric and supplies around that she doesn't use. He also noticed that Iraqis, accustomed to living under sanction, have gotten really inventive about using everything from bottle caps to, well, fabric.  So, he started this website to encourage donations of extra sewing (and now even knitting) materials or 'bundles' to be handed out to citizens and shopkeepers in Iraq.  It's an act of goodwill from a soldier to citizens to help them rebuild their lives.  He was hoping to get around 30 'bundles' and he now using a warehouse space to house it all and is thinking it might get closer to a thousand.  It's short-term only lasting until September 7th when he will be stationed in a different location.   To learn more about the project check here.  In short, it's about gathering sewing and knitting materials you already have, bundling them and sending them to Art in Iraq.  I thought I might have a few things and then I started looking and ended up filling a box to the gills.  For specific on how to create a bundle, look here.  Art is adamant that anything is useful, buttons, fabric, needles, thread, etc. and it can all be sent, at least up to 70 pounds worth, for $11.95 because of a military arrangement with the post office.   He will accept anything but says bigger is better (yards of fabric rather than scraps, etc.), green is good, and small prints are better than loud ones but ANYTHING will be used. 

So, me and baby hit the post office this week and sent off our bundle.  And, I know it is just a little something but it feels nice, you know.  Nice enough that I was almost skipping home from the post office.  So, as Art says "Let's do this!" 

If anyone who is local is reading this, I have an extra box so feel free to bring me and odds and ends you might have. I'm betting we can fill up a second box. 

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