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August 18, 1999






Blankets sought for Kosovars
___By Ken Camp
___Texas Baptist Communications
___Texas Baptists continue giving and going to help refugees returning to war-torn Kosovo.
___Texas Baptist Men and Woman's Missionary Union of Texas are asking churches and individuals across the state to help "blanket Kosovo with love."
dishoni
VIGAN DISHONI and his family fled Kosovo with only what they could carry. Now they've returned to find all that remains is rubble and ash. Texas Baptists will help families like his survive the area's harsh winter conditions by donating blankets. (BP photo by Bill Bangham)
___As part of a national effort spearheaded by Southern Baptists' International Mission Board, the state mission organizations are encouraging Texas Baptists in the next month to give financially to provide blankets for ethnic Albanians returning to Kosovo.
___Temperatures in Kosovo begin to drop drastically in October, noted Jim Brown, IMB human needs consultant. "We have only until mid-September to get a shipment off to Kosovo if it's going to get there in time to do any good. We need to respond immediately."
___Rather than incurring the expense of collecting, storing and transporting blankets from sites throughout Texas, Texas Baptist Men and Texas WMU are asking Texas Baptists to make financial gifts designated for the project.
___The most cost-effective way to secure the blankets is to purchase them for $3 each in bulk orders from a North Carolina manufacturer who then transports them to the IMB in Richmond, Va., said Jim Furgerson, Texas Baptist Men executive director.
___The blankets will be labeled as "Southern Baptists in America's Love Gifts to Kosovo" before overseas shipment.
___Texas Baptist Men has made an initial $15,000 commitment to the project.
___Anyone wishing to make financial contributions to the project should designate them "blankets for Kosovo" and mail the check to Treasurer's Office, Baptist General Convention of Texas, 333 N. Washington, Dallas 75246-1798.
___In addition to sending blankets, Texas Baptist Men also plans to send three 10-member volunteer teams to Kosovo over the next three months. Each team will be divided into two five-person work crews for construction and food distribution.
___Arrival and departure dates from Macedonia for the Texas Baptist teams are Sept. 18-30, Oct. 14-26 and Nov. 10-23.
___Volunteers for the Kosovo projects should contact John Bullock at (214) 828-5353.
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