Area congregations go the extra mile

Among the volunteers loading donated items for Lutheran World Relief in the semi trailer provided by Olson Explosives earlier this month were, front (l-r): Jenny Matt, Fran Johnson, Marvin Dahling, Carsten Calderwood, Annette Dahling, Carol Maki and Sue Darling. Standing: John Hunt. (Driftless Multimedia photo by Roz Weis)

By Roz Weis,

Among the volunteers loading donated items for Lutheran World Relief in the semi trailer provided by Olson Explosives earlier this month were, front (l-r): Jenny Matt, Fran Johnson, Marvin Dahling, Carsten Calderwood, Annette Dahling, Carol Maki and Sue Darling. Standing: John Hunt. (Driftless Multimedia photo by Roz Weis)

Two times each year Driftless area church congregations work together delivering donations to Lutheran World Relief.

The sewing and tying of quilts and collecting items for assorted school and health kits is a coordinated effort over several months, resulting in a “packing day” held earlier this month.

The quilts and kits are designed to fill critical human needs throughout the country, and the process of gathering all the items generates excitement among the churches involved.

Rainy conditions didn’t dampen the spirits of those involved in loading up the transport truck at Olson Explosives in Decorah.

Olson Explosives donated the semi for the project, transporting all the cargo to the next leg of the journey toward Lutheran World Relief (LWR) headquarters.

Volunteers began loading the semi trailer early on the morning of May 4

According to Mark Olson, “We have been providing a truck and trailer twice a year to deliver the supplies to St. Paul, Minn., for more than 30 years. We actually started with a truck with a 20-foot box, and now the congregations come close to filling a 53-foot trailer. It’s great work by our local churches.”

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History

LWR began distributing quilts to families in war-torn Europe following World War II. Within a decade, the ministry reached around the globe to villages far removed from the world’s attention.

According to LWR officials, an average of 300,000 quilts are now given worldwide each year.

Driftless area organizers said volunteers helped load more than 700 boxes, which were filled with 1,686 quilts, 119 school kits, 1,102 personal health kits, 524 baby kits, numerous blankets and more.

The school kits are made up of backpacks, paper, notebooks, rulers, pencil sharpeners, scissors, erasers, ballpoint pens, crayons and erasers. All the new items for the kits are donated.

The personal health kits are filled with towels, toothbrushes, combs, nail clippers, soap and more.

Baby kits include sleepers, jackets, receiving blankets, towels, cloth diapers, diaper pins, soap, socks and other necessities.

One local coordinator, Sue Darling from Big Canoe Lutheran Church congregation, said, “The big project is held twice each year on the first Saturdays in May and November.”

Among the area churches involved in the project were: Big Canoe Lutheran Church, Hope at Littleport/Elkader, St. Paul Lutheran in Postville, Elgin Lutheran, St. Paul Lutheran in Lime Springs, Immanuel Lutheran in Cresco and One in Faith Parish.

To learn more, visit the website www.lwr.org.

 

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