Word of Grace Church in Mesa hopes to raise $20,000 to provide 2,000 combination packs of blankets and towels for people in Malawi, Africa.
They will be delivered in May by a mission team. Blankets are being purchased in Malawi to benefit the local economy and eliminate shipping charges.
During a 2006 trip to Malawi, Dave and Brenda Tady of Mesa asked a village chief, “If you could have anything, what would you wish for?” His response was: “Blankets for my people.” The Tadys say in that chief’s village of Matanda, near the capital city of Lilongwe, most homes have dirt floors and no beds. People sleep on woven mats on the floor and need blankets during the dry season, when overnight temperatures reach the low 30s. The Mesa church has partnered with Theresa Malila, director of Somebody Cares, a Malawian organization working with people infected with, or affected by, HIV and AIDS. They include thousands of orphans and vulnerable children. Malila is in the United States this spring visiting with partner churches. She will be at Word of Grace from Tuesday through May 6.
“It is so depressing to see children looking so desperate and needy. I sometimes ask myself why this world is so unfair,” she says. The United Nations reports one in 12 Malawian adults is affected with HIV and about 550,000 children have lost one or both parents to the AIDS epidemic.
“Word of Grace is inviting the community to participate in this effort,” said project coordinator Brent Stockwell. Donations marked “Blankets for Malawi” may be sent to the church, 655 E. University Drive, Mesa, AZ 85203.
Giving can also be done at www.firstgiving.com/blanketsformalawi. Nearly $4,000 has been raised. For more information, call the church, (480) 34-1822.