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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Ribbons for Rwanda

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

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Ribbons for Rwanda

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(I have been purchasing all the "Incredible" yarn for this project myself and would love to have any donations of this yarn or the money to purchase it. I have done about 200 scarves since July and we have raised nearly $20,000 thus far.) :)

If you have seen the film, "Hotel Rwanda," or if you have read the Chicago Tribune Magazine article of May 22, 2005, "Fighting Genocide's Deadly Legacy"--an interview with Dr. Mardge Cohen, you know that the people of Rwanda are in desperate need of support as they face the overwhelming task of healing the deep physical and psychological wounds inflicted by the genocide of 1994 and its aftermath. Among the survivors, those rape victims infected by HIV and their children (many of whom are also infected) and the hundreds of orphaned children are in dire need of care. Dr. Cohen through WE-ACTx-Rwanda is leading an effort to save these people, shattered and traumatized by unthinkable acts of genocide.
My project, "Ribbons for Rwanda," was inspired by a story that my daughter, an International Student Advisor at a large urban university, recounted to me as I was knitting a ribbon scarf. She told me of a Rwandan nun who had come into her office that day. As they talked she learned from this incredibly strong woman, who had lost countless friends and relatives during the genocide, of the unspeakable sadness that haunts Rwanda and the innumerable needs of the survivors as they attempt to heal and re-build. The members of her small religious community had all returned home to Rwanda to devote their energies to setting up hospitals, schools, and orphanages, and to dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome which is devastating for those who have survived. As I knit, I couldn't stop thinking about the great sadness and tragedy of these people and how, in some small way, I might be able to help. I suddenly thought of "Ribbons for Rwanda" and realized that instead of selling these scarves in a shop, as I had seen done elsewhere, I might knit them for people to receive as a gift for making a $100 contribution to a charity which would in turn give them an $85 tax deduction. The subsequent task was to find a charity that would use all of the contribution to provide aid directly for Rwanda. After much searching for such an organization, I opened the Sunday Tribune, only to find the article about the wonderful work that Dr. Mardge Cohen and her colleagues through WE-ACTx are doing in Rwanda. I had found the person and the charity I was looking for. "Ribbons for Rwanda" would be a reality!

Mary Marie Robinson

Checks payable to: Crossroads Fund (On Memo line write: WE-ACTx-RWANDA “Ribbons for Rwanda”)

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