How would you feel to have to flee your home in the middle of the night, your personal belongings, sweet mementos, essentially your life, for your own safety and the safety of your children, and literally only have the clothes on your back? Well this happens far more often than you think. I always knew there was a need, but I had no idea that there were 16 battered women shelters in Utah! 16! Not to mention the refugee programs, the family support centers, and those fleeing polygamy from Colorado City. Hearts Knit Together helps fill the needs of those who are searching for safety and hope through beautiful welcome kits.
A sweet family in the ward that I grew up in has been involved with a non-profit called Hearts Knit Together. My friend posted some of the most adorable things that her family and her were donating and I became intrigued. I did a little research and found out what an amazing organization that Hearts Knit Together is, and what an amazing need they fill for thousands of women, children, and yes even men each year throughout all of Utah.
The director, Linda Simmons was a humanitarian missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Church had and asked the members to look for ways to serve in their own communities, and through some pondering and collaborating, Hearts Knit Together was born. The first year they began making these welcome kits, they donated 200, now 8 years later in 2014, they made and donated almost 5,000 kits! The needs are there, and only seem to continue to rise, and Linda wants to make sure those needs can continue to be filled. Everything is done through donations, and put together through some pretty wonderful volunteers.
The facility where the kits are put together is also being donated. It is amazingly organized so that the volunteers can easily find what they need and get the kits together.
The kits are made with so much love – all brand new items and each kit is constructed with a color or character theme inspired by either a hand-tied quilt or fleece blanket, doll, stuffed animal or action figure.
The mission of Hearts Knit Together is to offer joy and order in the lives of those who are escaping domestic violence, or who are seeking refuge from war and violence from around the world. Linda told me that each welcome kit is given with a message of hope and love, that those who receive them will know they are not alone in their suffering. They have basic hygiene items like shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush/toothpaste, towel, a journal, a blanket for the mothers, and each child receives a stuffed animal, blanket, book, a toy and the other basic hygiene items. From going to having nothing, to finding this beautiful welcome gift on your bed, you can imagine how grateful these mothers and children are!
Each kit is also given one of these felt hearts as a reminder of the love of those who put the kits together.
Linda told me so many times as those who help in the shelters ask the mother if there is something that their child particularly likes, Hearts Knit Together happens to have dropped off a kit themed with just that. It might seem like a coincidence to some, but I feel that it is another tender mercy from our Father in Heaven to bring a little more joy to those receiving the kits.
There are so many ways that you can help – whether it be your time as a volunteer, your talents (sewing & crafting), donating items, or your money, Hearts Knit Together could use your help! 5,000 kits made last year and the hope is to help with many more for this coming year in 2016.
Click HERE to get details on how you can help.
Thank you, and See the Happy!