Monday, October 30, 2006

 

From Dave at Children of the Nations:

I will do my best to forward photos of the babies receiving the supplies generously donated through Kristina Kruzan and all of you.

 

It's done!

The items have been delivered to Children of the Nations. Dave Schertzer recieved them and showed me around their warehouse where they are storing a couple of dozen (or more) palettes of goods that are awaiting transfer to Sierra Leone. He told me a little bit about the project they're working on in Banta Mokellah, which has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. The goods will go directly to work! He told me about visiting Malawi and looking around the village and realizing that he saw many of the goods that he had arranged to have transported there the year before - in use, doing good for the local families, schools, and more.

They are currently awaiting the completion of the paperwork needed to get the containers that will be filled with what is in their warehouse, and then sent to SL. Once that is arranged he will contact me and I will go down and take pictures of everything being loaded. They have people on the ground in Banta who he will also ask that they take pictures as well, and I will post them all here. Dave will also offer notes occasionally that I will post here as well. You can send an email to Dave here if you wish. Please take a moment to review the link on Banta, as well.

Blessings all,

Kristina

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

 

The end is nigh.

Well, it's down to donating the goods to other maternity hospitals in other countries. I can't mail the used goods in any format, but several organizations work in other African countries, directly with maternity hospitals that would gratefully receive the items, used and all.

Oddly, I feel disappointed because I invested a lot of my passion behind the women birthing at Bottom, and I feel sad that those mothers will never see this beautiful outreach of love. But with no money, no organization willing or able to send it, no contact on the ground anymore... it's just more obstacles than I can surmount on my own. Not to mention these things have been sitting here since March and are not doing anyone any good here, anyway. *sigh*

On the other side, I feel glad that these organizations can take the goods elsewhere for specifically the same purpose for which they were originally intended. I don't like the idea of letting people down - and even though these goods will do other mothers and babies equally as good, it still feels like a let down. So many times I imagined the faces of the staff as they opened the boxes and saw the lovingly stitched and folded and washed items that people took from their own stashes. I even had ideas about going to Malawi to tell them about the project (pipe dream lol).

I hope that the donors aren't disappointed too. I will ask for a note from each organization to whom I donate the items that I can scan and post here so that anyone who has donated has confirmation that the items they've sent are indeed going to Africa. I know that there is great concern about donating items and having them sold instead of donated, and I will not, (nor would I ever) do that.

If you are a donor or have concerns/comments/suggestions and would like to contact me, please email me and I will get back to you. The organizations I'm looking at right now are Children of the Nations and possibly World Vision. COTN can take the goods to Sierra Leone where they are doing work in maternity hospitals there where conditions are even worse than at Bottom. Sierra Leone has (last I remember) the highest infant mortality rate in the world, so these items may just be destined to go there. Who knows. :) Either way, we're doing good work together and these items will make an impact of love and support, where ever they land.

Thanks to all who have donated and stayed current with the project, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Blessings,

Kristina Kruzan

Sunday, September 17, 2006

 

No updates yet

I'm still waiting to hear back with some additional information before I take the layette plan to the next level. :) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

 

Photos


These are just the best idea every and seeing these really energized me! I had dismantled most of them and then I got to this one which had a label, and I thought.. DOH! lol Oh well, i can put them back together. The donor thoughtfully sewed reusable cloth covers for the layette and you can click the image to see the items inside are listed on the label. Genius!


Cloth mama pads, could also be used for diaper inserts (or vice versa).


These are the little diaper/shirt outfits sewn by the Wisconsin church women- I absolutely love the thought that was put into these and I have chosen not to separate them. They were counted as 'outfits'.



Baby hats (I made the rainbow one, of course I had to throw that in! lol).

I forgot to mention that there are (I think) 18 cans of formula that don't expire until 6/2008. (God help me that it doesn't take that long to get it to Malawi!!)



Aren't these flats pretty? My mother in law made these out of flannel.


This is one of the beautiful sewn toddler dresses sent by the church in Wisconsin. So, so sweet!!

These are the diapers. A large part of these are hand-made, see the striped prefolds on the right? That whole stack there are the handmade diapers. Also in the front are colorful flats and contours that were also hand sewn. In the back on the left are the stack of infant and toddler size prefolds, mostly chinese prefolds, some birdseye. Some have heavy staining and I might take those out and try to sun them clean, but 99% of them are in really excellent condition.


These are the two boxes of blankets. There are hand knitted ones, quilted blankets, recieving blankets, fleece, cotton, etc. Lovely!

 

Everything's sorted and counted!

All of the donations have been sorted and counted. Here are the results. The new and used items are separated but I am just posting totals here, and I'll post photos later. :)

Diapering Supplies

Fitted - 53
Contours - 11
Prefolds - 161
Large (toddler?) prefolds - 32 (These will be sold)
Covers - 48
All-in-Ones - 4
Inserts (could also be used for reusable menstrual pads) - 23
Wool covers - 4 (Two aristocrats, two Bumpy wraps)
Flats - 71
Washcloths - 33
Plastic pants - 18

Clothing

Toddler dresses - 4
Infant sleepers - 41
Onesies - 59
Outfits - 13
Hats - 46

Blankets/Towels

Blankets - 65
Baby towels - 6
Mama pads - 25 (not including diaper inserts which could be used thusly)

Layettes

One donor organized her donations into layettes, which I didn't realize until I had dismantled almost all of them. :( I saved the last few and the items in them are not counted in the above. I am going to organize as much of the above items into layettes as possible and see if private donors would be willing to fund one or two layettes per family. The layettes would be mailed directly to Bottom, and then given as gifts to the mothers. (I apologize to that donor for taking them apart, I knew not what I did!) They should only weigh about a pound, maybe a little more- that's far more affordable than sending everything in giant boxes.

It's a possibility- I've emailed Joanne to ask her if she can find out if the used items can be shipped if they are 'gifts' like this. The layettes would be wrapped in the cloth wraps they were originally in, and for the rest I'll pick up some cheap gift bags or something that the mothers will enjoy opening. They will be mailed in the name of the donors with a little card the family can put a message on (I can write it on there for them) if they wish.

Still flushing it out but it's an idea I'm really excited about.

In the meantime, after we get back from vacation I'm going to meet with the Children of the Nations contact about some long-term planning for the project, and shifting the focus a bit. I'll post more about that after the meeting. Photos are next!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

Have some hope!

I have hope.

I've been contacted by a couple of people with some ideas of organizations who might be able to help me out. I still need to weed out all of the used items because they just flatly won't go, but I'm still holding out a teeny weeny bit of hope that I can stick them in with another organization's shipment and get them there. They'd be so helpful, I know! It would be a shame not to get them there but I'm settled with it.

I'm waiting on another call back from Children of the Nations. I hear through the grapevine that they're trying to fill a shipment to Malawi, and I'm hoping they'll let me 'rent' some space in their shipment. If they'll do it, I then have to see if Joanne can arrange to get it from where it lands to the hospital. Heck, I'm almost ready to fly there myself and hand deliver it at this point.

Another person wrote the day before yesterday (see how these things happen in bunches?) about this other organization, Direct Relief International, through home she managed to get 15,000lbs of goods to the Queen Elizabeth Central hospital in Blantyre, another city in Malawi. YOW. This gives me great hope that it IS still possible to get things there intact. I've already contacted Children of the Nations and will be reaching out to DRI this morning to see what can be done.

keeping my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

 

Some great ideas!

Thanks for the recent comments with the great ideas! I love the idea of sending them as 'gifts' to Joanne, I'm liking that idea a lot!

Looks like I need to give her a call... now to find my Malawi phone card....

Monday, August 07, 2006

 

Disappointment

World Vision was very helpful but not in the ways I was hoping.

* Formula/goat milk can NOT be shipped. Malawi doesn't allow these types of things to be shipped in because they want to protect the companies they have who make/sell formula. I have seven cases of goat milk and several cans of infant formula, and now I find that I can't get them to where they were supposed to go. They offered that I can donate them to one of the other countries they service. I am going to talk with Meyenberg about what they'd like me to do with the goat milk, the formula will likely just be donated locally. *sigh* :(

* Confirmation that used items can not be shipped. Knitted/hand made items might even be a problem, I have to send them a list of what I have and their logistics department will get back to me. He doesn't think that what I'm sending will be an issue but we're double checking anyway. Better safe than sorry, right?

* They can't help me with shipping at this point, to Malawi. If I want to donate it all somewhere else, they can help, but they don't have any shipments going to Malawi for another year. Their Uganda team can take some/all (?) of the goods though as they have a shipment going out there very soon.

I feel a weight on my shoulders of the trust that people placed in me to get these goods there, and my apparently inability to see it through. I am overwhelmed and saddened by this but I am going to continue working with WV to look for a solution, and get the diapers/covers listed meanwhile. I'd better get cracking on sorting everything.

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