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Comforters bring warmth, hope to refugee families

By: Dave Baxter

Posted: 12/25/2018 10:30 AM

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Mary Martens shows off one of the handmade comforters that will be donated to the Mennonite Central Committee and shipped to a refugee camp.

DAVE BAXTER | THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

Mary Martens shows off one of the handmade comforters that will be donated to the Mennonite Central Committee and shipped to a refugee camp.

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Women from the Steinbach Mennonite Church and a number of other local churches have been hard at work as they hope to offer the gift of warmth and comfort to those who are living in refugee camps.

Members of the Steinbach Mennonite congregation will get together three times over the next few months to sew comforters that will then be handed over to the Mennonite Central Committee.

Mary Martens said once MCC gets their hands on those comforters they are put to good use, as they are shipped off to refugee camps all over the world.

Martens said the church got involved with the program because they wanted to do what they could to keep families living in refugee camps warm during the winter.

"Mennonite Central Committee does relief work all over the world," Martens said. "They are all over Canada and the U.S. doing all sorts of good things, and one of the big things they do is collect warm blankets that are sent to refugee camps for families and for children to use."

Congregation members last got together on Nov. 13, and Martens said that on that day the group pieced together dozens of comforters that will now be delivered to refugee camps.

She said the same group of women will get together again sometime in January and do another round of sewing.

While Martens and the women that join her to make comforters enjoy each other’s company while they are hard at work, she said the reason they show up and do what they do is to help those in need.

"That’s the biggest part of it, we are making these and they are helping people," Martens said.

She added there are a number of local churches also making comforters for MCC and that a lot of the comforters are coming out of a number of churches and other organizations in this area.

"There are a lot of churches and people in this area who deserve a lot of credit for what they are doing for this program including the Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church and the Elim Mennonite Church in Grunthal," Martens said.

In 2017, a total of 63,841 blankets were sent to refugee camps in countries like Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Korea, Ukraine, Iraq, Zambia, Syria, Somalia, Lebanon, and Haiti through MCC.

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