From Carolyn Mark, February 2019
One stitch at a time, knitters in Napa, CA have been providing hope to refugees across the world living in Greece.
This February, The Hands On Global medical team, who have previously carried Peace Pal dolls and hats to Syrian (and other) refugees in Greek refugee camps, took another 30+ dolls from knitters in Napa, California. The medical team brought comfort in the way of Peace Pals to refugees living on the island of Samos, Greece. These refugees are living in terrible, inhumane conditions. When I asked if it was appropriate to use luggage space (they are vacuum packed) for dolls considering such pressing survival needs for medical supplies, etc, I was told that the Peace Pals represent hope - someone knows and cares, and thus are critically important. The Peace Pals are distributed to sick and injured refugee children being seen in the small clinic.
Last month, Napa middle school students all read the same book Refugee, followed by a community event with the author speaking. Hands On Global had a table of Peace Pal dolls where people could make a donation to 'sponsor' a doll. They would choose a doll, write a personal note on a tag that was tied to the doll with a ribbon. The dolls will be taken to the refugee camps in Greece. Donations will be used to buy medical supplies for the refugees.
April 23 will be another large refugee event with speakers from Hands on Global and other refugee NGOs. Peace Pals will again be available for sponsorship to help purchase medical supplies for refugees. One knitting friend has resolved the issue of people wanting to purchase a doll for themselves by saying that she would personally knit them one if they made a donation to Knitting4Peace.
If you would like to read more about the work of Hands on Global in the refugee camps, check out Handsonglobal.org/blog. They post frequently while they are there. Such important work - but it will break your heart.
With gratitude for your work,
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