Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Gifts for Iraq
My family chose to give some of what we would have spent on each other to charity instead. All of us have what we need and more besides and with all that has happened in the last year it was a good choice. The charity I chose was Mennonite Central Committee where we were able to actually make kits that will go to relief work in Iraq. These kits include towels, soap, shampoo, brush and comb, toothpaste/brush, etc. Since I’m a soaper I wanted to make soap for all the kits we made so I went through my scraps and came up with a way to make fun things out of product that was nearly unusable for me. All my experiments, leftovers and bits of this and that went into this soap. I was pleased with how they turned out so I thought I’d share a few photos, plus they matched the towels. And that is always important to me when I'm making kits because I think people in crisis need beauty maybe more than anyone.
I was also ticked with the labels I made for these. I called it “PEACE SOAP” with the tag line “Pieces of this and that in a unified whole.” Now I’m not naive enough to believe that a cheesy sentiment on a bar of soap is going to do anything positive for the folks of Iraq, but maybe these kits can help individuals and maybe the aid worker who distributes these will be able to make connections with folks that can be positive and life giving.
I was surprised to find that I felt quite strongly about making these kits. I have been so angered and offended by the Bush Administration’s use of torture, rendition and Gitmo against the people of Iraq, not to mention the abuses of Blackwater and so much more. I have grieved and prayed over these things and felt the helplessness that comes from witnessing a horror and feeling unable to do anything to stop it (other than vote, and that was/is something!) So making these kits really started to touch a nerve in me. It’s nothing in view of the billions of dollars that are pumped into the death machine, but it’s my offering. And I dare to believe that hope and love are more powerful than all the weapons of warfare that this world can come up with.