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           January 2010
Hi Judy,
I just heard from APPLE, our partner organization in Ghana, that the children are becoming really attached to the quilts they have been using at the shelter, and want to take them home with them. In fact a few have disappeared when the children left to go home. I realize how difficult and expensive it is to get quilts to Ghana, but if there were a further flow, I think it would be welcomed!
I'm attaching a few photos of the quilts in use - from when we visited in the summer.
If it's not possible to send any more, then please don't worry - just wanted you to know how valued these quilts have become.
Hope you are doing well.
All the best,

Former slaves in Ghana dance with quilts.

photo by Supriya Awapathi
East Asia Coordinator
Free the Slaves

E-Alert: Support Needed for Emergency
Projects in Haiti
Dear Friends,
I want to update you on the situation in Haiti, how your help is making a difference, and critical next steps.

The Latest News:
In the past week, we have been able to contact two grassroots anti-slavery organizations that are supported by Free the Slaves: Limye Lavi, based in Jacmel near the earthquake epicenter; and KOFAVIV, based in the hard-hit neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.
I know you'll be relieved to hear that all Limye Lavi staffers survived the earthquake. We've only learned about the safety of some KOFAVIV staff. Both groups tell us that their families, homes and communities have been devastated. KOFAVIV's office has been destroyed. Our anti-slavery colleagues, like many Haitians, are living in the streets.
"Between what you see on the television and the reality, there is a really big difference," Guerda Constant tells us from Limye Lavi. "It's much more catastrophic."
Free the Slaves Three-Phased Response:
First, your contributions are already being used to send satellite phones and fuel, which are vital to call for help and reach stranded people. Free the Slaves has partnered with other groups to fly humanitarian supplies to Haiti. These groups have collected food and medicine, and they've organized special flights to deliver this aid directly to the communities where our Haitian colleagues are based. These communities remain underserved by major relief operations.
Second, we are helping to mobilize emergency child protection and trafficking-prevention programs. We are partnering with two networks of community-based groups that fight Haiti's entrenched system of child slavery. Their expertise and local knowledge will be vital to children's safety. Two experts, working for Free the Slaves and the group Beyond Borders, are heading to Haiti to ensure the UN's new child registration and tracing system is effective. Roughly 10 percent of Haiti's children were in domestic slavery before the earthquake, and there's a risk they'll be sent back into slavery now.
Third, we are beginning the effort to rebuild our partners' work. We are increasing assistance for Limye Lavi's efforts to reach remote regions that remain cut-off. We know that a key school that helps prevent children from falling into slavery has been destroyed and will need to be rebuilt.
How You Can Help:
I know that many of you have already contributed to relief efforts, including our own. But it will take sustained support to rebuild Haiti's anti-slavery movement and protect the nation's children. I'm asking you to join us in this ongoing effort.
You can contribute today by selecting "Haiti Fund" http://www.freetheslaves.net
I will keep you up to date on our efforts as they develop. Thank you for your continued support.
Jolene Smith
Free the Slaves CE

                HAITI 2009
quilt taken by Diane Martin
           Making quilts with students inspires me, as I get to see the best of humanity. I see children of all ages rise up open their hearts to others.

           In the last two years, it has been my pleasure to work with students in some of the poorest and most violent areas of Nashville. They, from their own harsh conditions of violence and poverty, have opened their hearts to people that they didn't know existed, unbelievably, former slaves, children suffering in war, poverty and disease.  
          These children have made murals of a peaceful community, they have sung songs in their streets, "Dr. King was a brave brave man, he wanted a peaceful land." They care. They themselves may sleep on their coats for beds, but yet, they open their hearts and their minds to others to learn about them.

         Please read Jolene's letter from Free the Slaves to learn more about Haiti and slavery.
-Much love and thanks to everyone who has helped in every way.
To learn more about Sudan -
Judith Biondo Meeker
More than Warmth is an educational project for students of all ages to learn about world cultures. It fosters understanding, knowledge and compassion among cultures through nonviolent, nonpolitical, and nonreligious means.

Since 2001, quilts have been  sent as gifts from over 13,000 students  to: 
and Palestinians
Burkino Fasa
South Africa
USA-Katrina Victims
in Louisiana, Mississippi
New Orleans
Genocide Victims in
Sudan and Chad
Rwanda, and
Indian Country-USA
El Salvador
North Korea
St.Thomas Virgin Islands


Dear Friend,
     We are sending you a quilt stitched with love. My picture is in the top right hand corner. My picture talks about learning.

 Your freind,
Dear Friend,
    Our class is making you a quilt. I drew a house because it reminds me of my family. When you sleep in this quilt, I hope you have nice dreams.

Your friend,
Dear Friend,
        Our class is making this quilt for you because we want you to sleep under this quilt. Our class wants you to have a great night when you sleep. I drew a duck because when you look at my picture you will have better dreams. So that's why our class is making this quilt. I sewed the girl's and boy's quilt. I poked myself about five times. It hurt so bad. I was trying to make a flower, but it turned into a duck.

Your freind,

Dear friend,
    I hope you enjoy te quilt that our class made for you.  My quilt has beautiful grass, trees, and wonderful butterflies. I drew those things because I want you to see all of those things that make me happy. In our school we are all trying to be safe, respectful, and responsible to eachother. Enjoy our quilt.

Your friend,

Dear Friend,
Hi. My name is Rohan. My favorite color is green. I am nine years old. I love to play outside. The quilt I made for you means that every day and everynight the world and I think of you. I wish I could visit you in Africa. When I read about you in a book, I always feel happy when I think of ways to help you. Please remember we are thinking of you!

Your friend,


3909 Whitland #104
Nashville,TN 37205  

Please email before sending quilt squares or quilts.  

 email: info@morethanwarmth.org
                      Photo and letter from Sudan by Nelda Villines
My Dear Friends, I'm attaching some photos of happy children in Sudan with your generous donations!
I have to tell you what happened to me this weekend...yesterday we took clothes, shoes, stuffed animals and quilts to Soba, about 15 miles outside of Khartoum.  Five years ago the Government of Sudan created an area (Soba) for the displaced people of southern and western Sudan after over 20 years of civil war, the estimated population is 17,000!!  It's really unbelievable to see all the tents and mud huts, mile after mile, and literally thousands of children!  I've been in Africa since 1995 and have seen several encampments/villages of needy people, but this was almost too much, even for me.


-continued-by Nelda:
          We were planning for 100 children and mothers in a small mud/grass hut where Mary, my new Sudanese friend, had arranged for the "most" needy to gather.  Things were going well and we were trying on shoes and clothes, after about 30 minutes, more people were gathering outside the yard, but the older boys were keeping them out, I gave a couple of quilts and was preparing to distribute the teddy bears and I saw the wall of the hut moving inwards, caving in!  I could hear the crowd outside shouting in Arabic, Mary says, Nelda we have to go, there are hundreds of people outside and they won't leave until we give them something.  Next thing I know the Embassy driver is at the back of the hut with the older boys helping us gather up the quilts, shoes and bears to escort us out, before the crowd broke the wall.  Needless to say, I learned an important lessson...don't go to a compound of thousands of needy people, when you only have enough for a 100!  

- continued by Nelda:
           Today we were planning to a community shelter for displaced women and children in Khartoum.  There was a major roadblock, traffic is unbelievable here, donkeys/carts, tuk-tuks, cars, trucks, all drive together, so after being stuck in traffic over 30 minutes, we decided to go a different route.  After a few miles, we came upon a partially vacant lot with a half built house, no doors or windows, but had a roof and walls.  Several children were playing outside, we stopped and found out the story...in this house lives 1 grandmother, 3 mothers, 16 children, including 4 babies!  One girl lost her leg from a landmine (Amy, I gave her Mary's last bear I had from Swaziland, you'll see the photo, I loved this bear but decided to take it today, now I know it was for this young girl with only one leg.)  I only took bears and quilts today, but plan to take the remaining clothes and shoes to them in February. 

continued by Nelda:
-was a very touching scene...they were so happy and surprised! 
We never made it to the community shelter, but will do that another day.  Timing is everything, and it was perfect timing to stop at this house and meet these people!  Things always work out for the best, if you are open to the possibilities!

I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for sending items to me and allowing me to deliver them in person and see the smiles and appreciation of the women and children!  It's a privilege and I'm very fortunate to experience it!
Normally I write each of you individually, but thought you should know each other...
Amy Berman - Mother Bear Project in Minnesota
Judy Johnson - Mother Bear Project and Shoes in Minnesota
Judy Meeker - More Than Warmth (Quilts) in Tennessee
Melissa Sweeney - More Than Warmth in Illinois (I hope I got that right)
Jeff and Marilyn Keating - Teachers in Florida (Clothes, Toys, Books, School Supplies)
Much Peace and Love,

Judy, Please send more quilts!  We will do another delivery in late February.
Thanks, Nelda

More than Warmth | 110 Fifth Road | Summertown, Tennessee 38483
615-975-3880 | info@morethanwarmth.org | www.morethanwarmth.org

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