Blankets may seem like simple items to many of us. But for many people around the world, a warm blanket is simply more than they can afford. Millions of day laborers, displaced families, rural villagers, homeless individuals, and others dread the cold months. Even in normal circumstances, many of them can hardly afford to provide food and other necessities. Winter adds even more expense.

CAM is receiving an increasing number of requests for warm blankets in various countries. Although we ship thousands of comforters around the world, our supply does not meet the huge demand. The Blankets for the Poor program helps purchase and distribute blankets for the needy. The price of a good, warm blanket bought directly from the factory is about $25.

 

The Middle East

Our contacts in the war-torn countries of Syria and Yemen are requesting tens of thousands of blankets for displaced families and others in need. Uprooted from home and struggling to feed their children, many of these people cannot afford to buy fuel or other means of heating amid dropping temperatures and chilly winds.

Wintertime brings misery for Hashir,* a Syrian father. Conflict displaced Hashir and his family from their hometown to a damp, concrete room. With his calloused hands raised and tears choking his voice, Hashir told our contacts, “I stand daily in the square of the village, waiting for someone to ask me to do any kind of work. . . . all I care about is bringing food to my family.”

Life becomes even more difficult for the family during Syria’s harsh winters. Without a stove or warm clothes, Hashir’s three children huddle under one worn blanket to keep warm.

When Hashir and his family received blankets from CAM contacts in Syria, his wife’s grateful words touched our contacts’ hearts. “No one has thought of us before,” she said. “May God protect you as you have protected my children from the freezing cold and brought warmth to their bodies and hearts.” Hashir’s nine-year-old daughter exclaimed, “I just can’t believe I will get some warmth today with this beautiful, soft blanket.”

Blanket, Christian Aid Ministries

Blanket recipient in Syria

 

Asia

In Asia’s cold climate areas, our contacts report that blankets can mean the difference between life or death for impoverished people like day laborers or the homeless. “Their houses, mud huts, and makeshift shacks have no heating systems, and wood fires have to be reserved for cooking,” they shared.

Ahina and her family live in a remote Nepali village. Villages like these are often cut off from the rest of the world when winter comes. Many people in Ahina’s village are illiterate, face severe poverty, and eat corn, wild roots, and plants from the forest. Ahina’s husband provides for the family by working as a day laborer in a city, coming home only on special occasions.

Last winter, Ahina walked an hour to a village where believers were distributing blankets. She shared, “Today [these believers] have filled my heart with joy and happiness by giving me this comforter. I did not have such a blanket at my home and was unable to buy one. We were surviving this excessive cold with old blankets. . . . I am really so grateful . . .”

blanket, Christian Aid Ministries

Blanket recipient in Asia

 

100,000 blankets for the poor

Like last year, our goal is to provide 100,000 blankets for impoverished people this winter. If you would like to help, your support will be a blessing and show God’s compassion. One recipient said, “I was unable to buy even a single blanket this winter season. But the believers were concerned for us and gave us this blanket. May God bless you.”

*Names in this article are changed to protect identities.


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