As women we have a unique and innate capacity to see another’s need and to meet that need. Our outreach is not limited to only those we know or those who act and think like us. We see the goodness and dignity of every person and yearn to see them be happy and secure and productive.
Here is an example of how women connect, network, and collaborate to bless others. And in doing so, we realize more fully our own worth and potential.
We recently received 23 blankets that were made by the student government of Centennial Middle School in Provo, Utah. These outstanding youth, led by their advisor Kristen Sorenson, had a leadership retreat where an important part of their retreat was doing service. They chose to buy fabric and make fleece blankets, and the result was the beautiful, colorful, blankets that we received.
Last year Olivia Allen was a student in one of Kristen’s classes. Olivia’s mother, Carolina Allen, and Kristen had a conversation in which Carolina was able to tell her about Big Ocean Women and the things we do. Kristen remembered that conversation and contacted Carolina to see if Big Ocean Women would be able to use the blankets her students made.
Our Provo cottage recently had a meeting where they partnered with Stitching Hearts Worldwide. This non-profit organization was founded by Krysti Wright. Years ago, Krysti started making quilts on her own for those in need. She needed help with the supplies, and reached out to the Launfal Foundation in American Fork who then donated the materials for the quilts. Krysti distributed the materials to other women who helped her make hundreds of quilts and blankets. She then decided to start her own non-profit and successfully became Stitching Hearts Worldwide with 501(c)3 tax status, distributing quilts and blankets locally and internationally.
We invited Krysti to come to the school and receive the blankets made by the students. Krysti brought a poster to show the students that the quilts from Stitching Hearts Worldwide have gone to refugee camps in the Mideast and to local families. Krysti explained to the students that she is from Paradise, California. Last year the entire town was engulfed in flames. Families are still living in shelters, tents, and out of cars. She intends to send these blankets to Paradise. The students could see through Krysti’s example how one person with a desire to serve others could make a big difference. They proudly grabbed their blankets, had a photo op, and loaded most of the blankets into Krysti’s car.
Eight of the most colorful blankets were saved for the Afghan refugee families who have recently been placed in Utah. One new family who recently arrived, parents and four children, are moving into an apartment and will need everything. These blankets will go to them. Isn’t it amazing how one woman, Kristen Sorenson, can lead a whole group of youth to add service to their retreat and give their time and resources to help others; how one woman, Krysti Wright, has devoted her life to helping others make quilts and blankets and is then distributing them throughout the world; how the Launfal Foundation led by RoseAnn Gunther has been able to supply materials for hundreds of quilts made by Krysti’s organization; and how Olivia Allen’s mother Carolina just happened to be the founder of Big Ocean Women and shared with Olivia’s teacher our mission? Isn’t it amazing how women connect and share with others, crossing borders, erasing barriers, seeing beyond differences and into hearts?