Lehi couple sends hundreds of quilts from 32 states to Ukrainians

May 4, 2022, 5:33 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm

LEHI, Utah — Ukrainian refugees are feeling compassion and a human connection with Americans thanks to a Lehi couple who launched a humanitarian quilting project.

Wrap Ukraine with Quilts has taken off since KSL-TV first featured the project. As a result, the couple now plans to return to the Ukrainian border this summer.

“We started this about seven weeks ago and I had no idea we would get this many in that short amount of time,” said Gina Halladay.

She and her husband, Hal, thought they might get 500 quilts when they started Wrap Ukraine with Quilts. But the quilts have arrived every day since and they keep coming.

“We’re getting them out fast, and getting them into the hands of refugees, and they are appreciating it,” Gina said.

So far they’ve received more than 2,000 quilts from 32 states. A pile of beautiful quilts that nearly filled a spare room in their home is headed out Thursday. They now have a distribution plan in place and will send quilts to the Ukrainian border in Poland, Moldova, and Romania.

“This little girl saw the pile of quilts and just ran over and hugged it,” said Hal, showing a picture of a young Ukrainian girl who received one of the quilts. He hand-delivered the first 120 quilts to Ukrainians last month at a refugee center inside the Polish border.

“That was really inspiring because it was just humans, just people caring for people,” he said.

A Ukrainian mother helped him give the quilts to other mothers to give to their kids. He said that distribution method worked extremely well because the quilts were coming from someone they understood.

“I think what she was telling them was that American mothers have made these quilts for Ukrainian mothers and their children, and then it was on,” he said. “Mother’s melted and got emotional, and kids got excited.”

A quilt is more than a blanket because there’s a story behind it, Gina said. There’s also a story behind every refugee receiving one.

“Their town had been hit by cruise missiles,” How sad, as he pointed to a picture of a mother with her child holding a quilt.

A blanket warms the body. A quilt also warms the soul.

“We wanted them to have something that was their own, that was comfort, that was unique, that was a gift, not just a basic need. It was something a little special for kids,” Hal said.

“A quilt-maker, as you’re sewing, as you’re quilting you’re thinking about that person that you’re making it for,” said Gina.

People have invested time, money, and love to make the quilts and send them to Wrap Ukraine with Quilts.

“People are looking to do some good, and making a quilt with love, and giving it to someone who desperately needs it feels really good,” Gina said.

Each quilt arrives in Ukraine with a QR code. So, the recipient can connect with the quilt-maker if they like.

“That’s just another way of connecting people through quilting,” Gina said.

Check out wrapukrainewithquilts.com to get involved.

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Lehi couple sends hundreds of quilts from 32 states to Ukrainians