SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Quilters across the country are flooding a Utah County couple's home with handmade blankets.
"Every day is like Christmas," said Gina Halladay. "There hasn't been a day that I haven't gotten a quilt on my porch or mailed to me. Quilters are just givers. We love to make, we love to give."
The Halladays have been getting quilts ever since they--along with Gina's quilting business partner, Beth Hawkins--started the effort called Wrap Ukraine with Quilts.
Gina's husband, Hal, has business connections in and around Ukraine. When Russia began its invasion, he learned what refugees were facing while fleeing Ukraine.
"They didn't have anything that could comfort them, anything that was more than just essentials," he described.
The Halladays decided to combine Hal's business connections with Gina's new online quilting business, Hello Cottons, and put out a call for quilts to send to the country.
The response was overwhelming.
"I thought people would send like one quilt or two," Gina said. "People are sending 20, 30, 40 quilts."
They received over 2,000 quilts in just over six weeks. Hal has already brought some of them to Poland and handed them out to refugees at the border.
"The kids were excited, the mothers were tearful," described Hal. "They're very grateful for the help. They're grateful that a stranger in the United States would care about a Ukrainian."
Each quilt they give out will come with a note of encouragement and a QR code the recipient can scan and connect with the quilter who made their gift.
"To know that we can make a change and that we can give and this is our small way of giving feels really good," Gina said.
They have been sending quilts overseas with individuals, charitable organizations like Lifting Hands International, and businesses. They have also been contacted by people in Switzerland who are making quilts for the effort.
"We started it, we ignited it, but the flame that is growing is from everybody else adding to it," said Hal.
Mountain America Credit Union is add more fuel to that fire with a $500 donation to Wrap Ukraine with Quilts.
They have committed to collecting quilts until at least the end of the year and Gina is looking at turning this efforts into an official charitable organization.
The Halladays could use more space to hold all the quilts they've been receiving.
To learn help or donate a quilt, visit the Wrap Ukraine with Quilts website.
You can also donate through Venmo @hellocottons.
There will also be opportunities to drop off quilts at quilting events throughout the year, including a Quilts, Inc. expo and Utah Shop Hop.