I am so thrilled that so many of you are interested in the blanket project! I wanted to answer your question about whether people could send actual blankets.
Each of my family members will be able to pack two 50-lb suitcases for Ethiopia (along with one carry-on bag, of course). I would love, love, love to physically pack a suitcase or two with blankets for the babies in Ethiopia. However, my sis just today told me that the hospital staff has asked my family to dedicate as much of their luggage as possible to some very specific things that cannot be bought in Ethiopia– things such as medical textbooks and surgical towels.
Because of this, I really think our best approach might be to ‘gather blankets’ via paypal. That way my mom and sister can bring the money to Ethiopia and buy the blankets right there in Ethiopia. This would help Ethiopia in three ways. First of all, it frees up my family’s luggage to deliver things that aren’t available in Ethiopia. Second, some lucky market-stall people will sell a whole lot of blankets in one day– can’t you just imagine the smiles on their faces?? And finally, a bunch of new mommas will have blankets for their babies. I can picture those smiles too– can’t you??
I want to thank everyone for the generous offers. If you have actual blankets you are wanting to give away, may I suggest your local crisis pregnancy center? And I totally understand if you are wary of handing a stranger on the internet your money. Only do this if it seems right to you. But if you decide you are game to help out with my Blanket Party, check back on February 1st.
I am going to find out before then how much a baby blanket costs in Ethiopia. That way you’ll know just how many blankets your dollars will be buying– prices are pretty good there in general, so I would suspect your money will go further there than here. And thanks again to all of you who are willing to mention this project on your blog!!