When Nadia Molina joined the pro-life rosary prayed at Salt Lake City’s Cathedral of the Madeleine every first Thursday of the month, she never imagined that would lead to supporting people on the other side of the world.

“We pray for life, but we also pray for all the people. We ask around if someone has a special need that they have so we can pray for it,” Molina said.

Now she is not only praying; she is been putting her talents into action: cutting, sewing and piecing fabric into quilts to help Ukrainian children affected by the war.

Catherine Stokes, chairperson of the cathedral’s Respect for Life ministry, invited Molina to participate in the special project “Wrap Ukraine with Quilts,” organized by a Utah couple to provide new, handmade quilts to children who are refugees from the war in Ukraine.

The project started in March when Gina Holladay and her husband Hal, in partnership with Beth Hawkins, joined forces to figure out how to send quilts to Ukraine.

“At the beginning we were not sure how we were going to make those quilts go all the way to Ukraine but we knew we could figure it out,” Gina Holladay said.

The project seeks new handmade quilts, preferably no larger than twin sized. Quilters are encouraged to include a label with the quilt that contains their name, their city and state and a message of encouragement. They also may send a picture of themselves with it.

“There is always a story behind every quilt,” Gina Holladay said. “As a quilt maker you are thinking about the person that you are making it for as you are stitching it.”

By Dec. 1, the project has collected more than 17,000 quilts.

When Molina first heard about this effort, she decided it was something she could do to “contribute to helping that person that I may never get to meet” and giving them something that reminds them that someone thought about them.

Despite the difficulties faced by the people in Ukraine, it is very important to share the message that God is always with people no matter the distance or the situation, Molina said.

“For me it is very important the people in Ukraine, through these quilts, know that God is present, that people care for them,” she said. She also wishes she had time to do more and hopes that more will join. As she put it, the project “gives people the opportunity to help others that might need a hand” and also “sends them the message that God never abandons us despite our circumstances.”

— Laura Vallejo