Blankets provide refugee family only source of warmth in cold weather

Refugees and IDPs | Print

In winter, what could be cozier than snuggling up with your family in a big fleece blanket? Maybe you’ll watch a holiday movie together or just doze in front of a fire. Bring on the cold.

For some families, the arrival of cold weather brings shivers of worry, and a blanket may be the only source of warmth for them all winter. Your gift of a $10 blanket in the BGR Gift Catalog is keeping a family warm right now.

Nandie’s family didn’t have enough money to spend on a blanket.

Nandie, her husband, her two children, and her younger sister are African refugees, meaning they already have limited resources. Nandie’s family lives in a small one-room apartment, and her husband’s job as an electrician isn’t steady; he’s only paid in cash when he’s needed. Nandie tries to find work by babysitting a couple of children during school days or hairdressing out of the apartment. It’s hardly enough.

To complicate matters, the winters in their new country are far colder than those in their home country, and they weren’t prepared for freezing temperatures.

Money and space were already tight, but then Nandie’s sister died, orphaning her three daughters, including a set of twins. Nandie couldn’t leave them alone, no matter the extra burden. She brought her nieces into their home. But that meant three more mouths to feed. Three more small bodies to keep warm.

That’s a lot of people for Nandie to worry about. Every month, they carefully walked through the checklist of their needs, scrutinizing every dollar.

Rent? Check.

Food? We’ll get what we can.

Blankets? Not this month.

With your help, Nandie didn’t have to worry about keeping her family warm.

When BGR volunteers dropped off three blankets to their home, the relief was instantaneous. It seems like a small thing, but those blankets met an immediate need. A couple of months later, Nandie’s family also received food boxes to supplement her husband’s income and help them through an uncertain season.

Nandie can tuck in her children—and her sister’s children—at night, knowing they’ll sleep soundly.

Now, Nandie can feel some dignity that she’s doing the best she can for all of them.

If you’re near a blanket, wrap it around you. Nandie’s family feels the same sense of comfort and security you do—all because friends like you gave. Give another blanket from the Gift Catalog and do the same for another family.

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