Lehi couple’s ‘Wrap Ukraine with Quilts’ has surpassed 6,000 quilts

Jul 7, 2022, 5:10 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

LEHI, UtahNot long after Russia invaded Ukraine, a Lehi couple started a project to send handmade quilts to refugees. They initially thought they might be able to send several hundred quilts to comfort children. Now, it’s no longer just a quilting project, it’s become a movement.

It’s called Wrap Ukraine with Quilts. The founders are headed to the Ukrainian border in Poland Friday as their impact grows.

“We have gotten quilts from 8 year olds and 88 year olds from all over the country,” said Gina Halladay, who launched Wrap Ukraine with Quilts with her husband, Hal. “From day one, we started receiving quilts, and every day, we’ve either gotten a package or quilts dropped off in my dropbox on the porch.”

When they started out on social media, they urged quilters to send them the comforting gifts to be given to refugee children. In less than four months, they’ve received nearly 6,400 quilts from 44 different states — about half from Utah and Idaho.

“It’s a way for people to give,” Gina said. “Quilts are made with love. As we’re sewing them, we’re thinking about the people we’re making them for.”

Gina Halladay, who founded Wrap Ukraine with Quilts with her husband, prepares to load up quilts Thursday to be sent to Ukraine.

On Thursday, they loaded 700 quilts that will be sent to Ukraine by Lifting Hands International. The Halladays will also hand-deliver more than 100 in Poland.

These quilts mean a lot to refugee kids and their mothers who have fled their homes and face an uncertain future.

“To get hand-delivered a quilt that somebody made shows that we care about them, we see them, and that we want them to find some comfort and some hope,” Gina said.

To ship a 50-pound box of quilts to Ukraine would cost nearly $2,000. But, Lifting Hands International of American Fork has taken care of most of the shipping. They provide humanitarian aid to refugees at home and abroad.

“Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, we’ve distributed 2,500 tons of aid,” said Walker Frahm, chief operations officer of Lifting Hands International.

Hal Halladay loads up quilts into a truck.

The quilts will go into a container that includes food and medical supplies.

When Frahm was recently in Ukraine, he talked with families who had received some of the quilts.

“Again and again, we hear almost with disbelief that people from around the world, from the other side of the world, care enough about them and their family to make handmade quilts.”

The Halladays also get messages from recipients who can’t believe that somebody in the United States would make a quilt for them.

“They’re touched that someone cares about them and has made something for their kids,” Gina said.

Click here to get involved.

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Lehi couple’s ‘Wrap Ukraine with Quilts’ has surpassed 6,000 quilts