Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Deseret Industries Changing Lives!

Last night was an amazing night for me. I went with the Young Women of the 8th Ward down to Welfare Square, specifically the Deseret Industries!
If you know me, you know of my love for the DI. So going to the downtown DI was a special treat for me. However, I had no idea how much I was going to be fed.
We were escorted through a back door to the behind the scenes of the DI. I knew we were there to do Humanitarian work, but I couldn't understand why we were not at the Humanitarian Center?
Sister J who is a missionary at the DI educated us about the DI and how it operates. I knew that the people of the community donated items and they would sort through the items and then either re-sale stuff, donate it to 3rd World countries, or throw it away.
However, I had no idea the magnificent opportunities that are happening at the DI.
Here is a brief breakdown of how the DI stores work.


1. People of the community donate items to the DI.

2. The items are sorted into items that can be sold, items that can be donated for humanitarian efforts, items to be recycled or items that are thrown away.

3. Majority of workers at the DI are refugees that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is helping. They have left their countries for reasons of safety or poverty. The church hires these refugees to help teach them how to work, how to speak English and help them to get started in the community to live on their own.

4. All monies made at the DI's are turned back into running the facility. Either paying the workers, the machinery to sort and package clothing, shipping to 3rd world countries or humanitarian kits that are put together in a humanitarian room. So, not only are you being charitable when you donate items, but you are also being charitable with items that you purchase. That is the genius of our church! The more money made, the more humanitarian kits are made. (I am going to stop complaining about prices at different DI Stores)

5. Some DI's have humanitarian rooms where they take donated material and make quilts or wall coverings for 3rd world countries. They also make newborn kits, Orphan kits, school kits and hygiene kits. There is a high demand for quilts right now in Haiti and Chili!

Hence why we were there to work!



Amazing things happened last night! Some so sacred, I can only record in my personal journal. Some things that touched my heart that I will share:

1. As Sister J was explaining how the humanitarian room of the DI works, she stopped at a quilt that was placed over an old Sewing Machine. She told us that recently they put this quilt on display in honor of Walter. Walter is a volunteer at that DI who sews quilts for them. He and his care taker came to this DI about 6 months ago to ask if he could help. Walter is 90 years old and is a survivor from the holocaust. His entire life, he was a magnificent tailor in Germany. Walter is now suffering from Alzheimer's and is forgetting a lot of things. One thing he is sure of every day is that he is a tailor. The caretaker has found him in the middle of the night sewing and has to convince him that it is night time and he needs to sleep. He can continue sewing in the morning. Walter now sews quilts for the Humanitarian Center every day and produces a quilt a day. In the short time he has been there, he has donated 300 quilts.

Walter has been instructed to quilt every 3 inches whether at the machine or tying the quilts. The quilt that was on display shows this 3 inch pattern in the quilt, but when he got to the center of the quilt, he noticed the beautiful pattern of diamonds with merry go round horses in the center of them. Walter stopped and looked at the care taker and questioned the 3 inch rules. He then told her no and sewed into this quilt a magnificent pattern around these diamond shape carousel horses. Walter remembered and he sewed a beautiful quilt. Sister J kept that quilt to have on display to tell Walter's beautiful story of service, love and honoring him and his magnificent talent.

2. Elder J, Sister J's husband, told an amazing story about his life and his disabilities and bore his testimony about the spirit as these girls were working. I could not believe how strong I felt the spirit in that room. It does not matter what life trials you go through. The spirit will always be with you if you are worthy.

Attitude is Altitude!

Last night we tied quilts, we made newborn hats, we made school kits. We did the best we could to help others.

However, last night, my spirit received great charity and love. Truly Charity is full circle.

3 comments:

Ann Marie said...

Yay for DI!!

I remember when we went back and did this also in YW/YM.. and it is such an awesome experience!

The church is so true.. and you can really see how much good it does when you go behind the scenes and see how it all works to help others!

Grateful your soul was fed! :)

Mom of twins ♥ said...

That is awesome that you were able to go and do that. Thanks for sharing your story about it!

Joy For Your Journey said...

OH, that was such a great post! And I love the story of Walter! What a sweet thing he is doing. How wonderful for him that he is able to do this.

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