Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Wrapping and Warming Hearts

Tracy Dubois, Support Staff
The Call, October-December 2016

Wrapping and Warming Hearts
Across the country, women of all generations get together in church basements to make quilts for newborns, newlyweds, orphans, and local hospitals. Other small groups stuff pillows for those in need while some fill grocery bags with food for hungry children to eat on the weekends. In Albania, a group of women meet to knit products they can sell to help support their families.

“Economic opportunities for women in rural communities are difficult to come by,” explained missionary Cydil Waggoner. “Where we serve in Albania, limited education and resources, not to mention the expense and difficulty of commuting and responsibilities for family care, all represent barriers for women to contribute financially to their families. Our attempt has been to develop skills (or take advantage of existing skills) to empower these women to create commodities that can be sold to help their families economically.”

When Cydil first became a part of the women’s crafting ministry, the ladies were making jewelry. Their creations had a very low profit margin, and the earnings were split evenly among the women. The ministry switched to knitting, which the ladies were already skilled in, allowing each woman to earn based on her ability, labors, and creativity.

Knitted items for sale include scarves, headbands, legwarmers, hats, fingerless gloves, and even a few pieces for men. Proceeds from past sales have enabled Albanian wives, moms, sisters, and aunts to buy necessities like heating oil and medicines as well as luxuries like their family’s first indoor kitchen sink!“

To those who have already purchased from Village Knits, thank you for making a difference in the lives in this little corner of Albania,” Cydil stated. “For those of you who are reading about Village Knits for the first time, see what we have to offer at the Village Knits website."

Although final sales are the goal of each knitter, there is much more going on behind the scenes as this winter wear is purchased and worn around the globe.

“As I photograph, tag, catalog, and post new merchandise, I breathe a prayer that each item will be bought, that faith will grow with each sale, and that answered prayers will wrap and warm hearts just like the products wrap and warm bodies,” Cydil shared.

MORE: Christmas is just around the corner. Visit Village Knits to start knocking items off your shopping list. You can also follow this community on Pinterest.
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