EAST LANSING, Mich. — When Reverend Kristin Strobel and other members of the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Lansing heard about the war in Ukraine, they didn't know exactly what to do to help.
“When the war and the tension started, we were asking a lot of questions here like what do we do," Strobel said. "It’s such a helpless feeling when there's a global event like this, it feels like there's nothing we can do to help to make a difference.”
Until Strobel got an idea.
“I was just driving in my car the one day, and I was like, I have a friend who makes Ukrainian Easter eggs, I wonder if she’d partner with me and we could use that as a way to bring people together, which also builds hope, as well as support our siblings abroad,” Strobel said.
Last spring, they hosted a Ukrainian Easter egg workshop where people learned how to make the traditional Easter eggs from Ukraine.
It was there East Lansing resident Lynn Aguado had another idea on how to help.
“Lynn, who came up to me and said, I'm thinking about making a quilt and the design is sold to benefit Ukraine and the fabric and would the church be willing to take that quilt and use it to raise some more money,” Strobel said.
Aguado was inspired by a designer who launched Hearts for Hope, a sew-along quilt design made specifically for the war in Ukraine. Through this, Aguado was able to get fabric from a store specifically selling blue and yellow fabric and sending those profits to Ukraine for relief efforts.
After adding in some of her own fabric, Aguado finished the quilt and donated it to the church.
“All these months later, it's finished, and we're ready to raffle it,” Strobel said.
People will be able to buy raffle tickets for $5 each starting Sunday, Sept. 11, to try and win the quilt.
“We're going to give them to church members, and those who are willing to go out and sell or people can contact the church office, and they can buy them just by calling us here at Eastminster or emailing us, and we will sell them a ticket,” Strobel said.
All the proceeds will go to the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance relief program.
“Any money given to the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance," Strobel said. "100 percent of it goes on the ground, administrative costs are paid for else elsewhere. So I love supporting them because I know when I give them my money, 100 percent of it is going to go to help people in need.”
Strobel said she's happy they're able to help in any way they can.
“It's such a gift, and so we're excited that Lynn reached out and said I want to help and do more," Strobel said. "We hope here, when people reach out, that we can just say yes, let's find a way to do it together.”
And will continue to do so for any cause.
“We've just been trying to offer consistent support as we hope to do whenever there's a disaster or violence anywhere here in the country or around the world," Strobel said.
Ticket sales will end on Oct. 2, the day the drawing will take place.
Anyone interested in purchasing tickets can go to the church at 1315 Abbot Road in East Lansing or call 517-337-0893.
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