Boxed and labeled, the 350 to 400 blankets collected to help victims of the October
On Thursday, Karen Amarotico and two friends loaded the boxes of blankets onto wooden pallets and affixed stickers that read “Blankets to Pakistan with love from
Oak Harbor Freight donated the shipment of the blankets from Ashland to Los Angeles, where a large relief effort is underway. Amarotico’s blankets will be added to supplies already collected and ferried to Pakistan before winter ends.
“I think whenever they get there, they will help people,” said Amarotico, who organized the relief effort. Locals brought the blankets into Standing Stone Brewing Co. in the fall. The drive ended in mid-December, but difficulties coordinating the shipment of the blankets stalled Amarotico’s efforts.
“It took a long time,” she said. “I had no idea how long things actually take.”
Amarotico started the blanket drive in early November to help the people affected by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck northern Pakistan and Kashmir on Oct. 8. The massive earthquake killed a reported 80,000 people in the region and resulted in tens of thousands of injuries, according to official reports. More than three million people were left homeless as winter conditions set in throughout the mountainous Himalayan region. To Amarotico, it didn’t seem that difficult to collect a few blankets to send to Asia. She started with an appeal to the community in a Tidings’ letter to the editor asking people to bring a blanket and a buck to the restaurant.
The effort filled more than 70 cardboard boxes and also raised $2,100 that will be donated to a relief agency on the ground in Pakistan. It was transporting the blankets to victims that proved challenging.
“Several connections went awry on the path to ship the blankets,” Amarotico said, explaining two possible routes to get the donations to Pakistan fell through. “Each time it was more research to looking into and finding the connections and how much money it would cost.”
Some questioned Amarotico’s determination to send the blankets to Pakistan so late in the winter, but she thought she needed to finish the project she started.
“I felt because people who didn’t even know me had put their faith in me that they were going to get to Pakistan, I was going to get them there,” Amarotico said.
Although she will help out with fundraising efforts at Standing Stone, which she co-owns, in the future, Amarotico may wait awhile before spearheading another fundraising effort.
Source: Ashland Daily Tidings