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Havreite seeks to send quilts to Ukrainian children

Havre native Pamela Emard has sewn nine handmade quilts to give to children in Ukraine suffering from the effects of Russia's invasion, but is now trying to find a way to get them there.

Emard said her mother was a first-generation immigrant to American and their family is primarily of Hungarian and Czech descent, so war in that part of the world hits her a little closer to home than most, so she said she immediately started giving money to relief efforts.

Within a few months she had donated $700 in total, but she didn't feel like her heart was in it.

"It was just money," she said.

But then, she said, about six months ago, she saw some news footage of a children fleeing the war, and inspiration struck.

"I saw this one newsreel of a little girl getting on a train, and her father has tears rolling down his face," she said. "He's going off to war and she's left just cold with her aunt going God-knows-where, and I thought, 'that girl needs to be bundled up.'"

Emard made quilts in her spare time and felt that creating something like that for the children of Ukraine would help them in a way that money doesn't.

She said money helps, of course, but putting a handmade quilt from across the world around someone not only wards off the cold but lets them know that there are people around the world who care about them.

"America loves you, we're here for you," she said.

Emard said she can't even imagine what it must be like to be 7 years old and have to flee home amid the sound of bombs and the sight of burning cars, and she hopes that supporting these children will help them not just during the war, but in dealing with the trauma that will surely remain long after.

She said she resolved to make at least one quilt a month, but exceeded that goal, creating nine over the course of six months.

However, she said, she works full time and is pretty exhausted from spending so much of her free time on the project so for now, nine is her limit.

Unfortunately, Emard said, she's hit a roadblock, she doesn't know a good way to get the quilts there.

She said she's nervous about who, or what organization to give them to, for fear that the quilts, and significant investment of time and high-quality materials, may not make it to their destination.

She said she didn't want to just slap something together for these children, so she invested in quality materials and took her time to make sure her work was good, and she wants to make sure they make it to children in need.

The Havre Daily News reached out to Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., a staunch supporter of Ukraine in the Senate, to see if his office was able to help.

Tester Spokesperson Harry Child responded, saying it might be a tricky request, but he would bring the matter to everyone at the office and see if they might be able to help.

Havre Daily also reached out to UNICEF USA to see if they could help, but no response was received by print deadline this morning.

Regardless of how these inquiries pan out, Emard said, she hopes someone may be able to help.


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