One dozen shawls for love


photos courtesy of Ann Voskamp

My friend, Ann, traveled to Iraq earlier this year.  During her trip, women who have experienced the unthinkable shared their stories with her, and she returned home with a mission to share them with the rest of the world.  I read her words and they broke my heart, and the hearts of tens of thousands of others.  Sitting here in this broken world, I think that many of us were left feeling helpless.  How do we reach women and children living a world away?  How do we not allow the sheer terror of what is happening in Iraq paralyze us, leaving us just wanting to pretend that we never heard those stories?  Because when I look at my nine year old daughter, I just want to forget.

Ann is advocating for a non-profit organization called Preemptive Love.  Jeremy Courtney, the founder of Preemptive love, lives in Iraq with his family and is on the front lines of the crisis there.  Preemptive Love is right now equipping displaced women and children with what they need for immediate survival with the goal of long term sustainability through small business start-ups for women and education for the children.  They are truly bringing hope to the hopeless.

“We go where others will not. We reach people who would otherwise be without help.”

You can read more about what Preemptive Love is doing, right now, here.  I can only imagine how much more is needed, how difficult the road ahead will be as more and more people are being driven from their homes.  There are three million internally displaced people in Iraq, people who have fled their homes in terror, and the majority of them are women and children.  That settles over me so heavily as I sit here at my pretty desk, drinking Earl Grey and listening to the birds outside my window, my children safe.

I made a donation last week, but was left wishing I could do something more.  And then I received a little nudge from a reader, “Hey, why not raffle off your Gotland Shawl for Iraq?”  The obvious answer was, “Yes!  I can do that!”  I decided to ask other knitters if they might donate alongside me, to offer a knitted shawl or scarf for a raffle to raise money for Preemptive Love, and it wasn’t long before I had one dozen shawls promised for Iraq, for love.  Because for many of us, knitting is a love language. 

So if you aren’t a knitter, but have always wanted to own a beautiful hand-knitted accessory, you have the opportunity to enter to win one while doing something to help others!  And if you are a knitter, I’m sure you’ll want to enter as well, knowing first hand how much love is behind the gift of each of these shawls.

Each shawl being raffled is unique and beautiful, in gift giving condition, and ready to be shipped anywhere in the world to the person who wins it.  You can enter to win as many of them as you wish. And if you are wondering how to wear a shawl, I usually just wrap them around my neck like scarves. Larger shawls can be worn around the shoulders. Easy!

shawls for iraq-

Here is how to enter the raffle:

Make a donation to Preemptive Love (your donation is tax deductible).  Click here to donate.  Every five dollars is one chance to win.  After you make your donation, you will receive an email from Preemptive Love.  In that email there will be a confirmation number.  You will need to copy that and paste it into the Rafflecopter Widget for the shawl(s) that you are hoping to win.  You can apply your donation in full to one shawl for multiple chances to win, or divide it up amongst more than one.  For instance, if you donate $50.00 and would like all of your chances on one shawl, you will need to select the $5.00, $20.00, and $25.00 options in the raffle widget, entering your confirmation number each time. Or if you would like that $50.00 to be applied to ten separate shawls, you will select the donate $5.00 option for one chance to win on each. If you would like to make a larger donation and have it all applied to one specific shawl, you are welcome to email me for how to proceed to get all of your entries.

You will need to log in with your name and email address.  If you aren’t familiar with Rafflecopter, don’t worry.  It’s not difficult, and you will be prompted at each step.  It only takes a second, I promise!

The raffle will be open through Sunday, June 7th.  Please share, share, share this post! I really need your help to make this successful.

My hope is that together we raise $5,000 dollars. Enough for five small business grants for women.

Thank you in advance for your generosity, and good luck!  I can’t wait to see where each of these twelve shawls end up!  Maybe the winners will share photos with me, and I will share them here!

Shawls for Iraq1
Gretchen is offering this pretty Madame Phelps Shawl knit in gorgeous, purple, 100% merino, Malabrigo sock yarn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RachelWolf Rachel is offering this Forest Nymph Capelet.  She knit it in Cascade Cherub DK, nylon/acrylic blend.  This capelet is not only beautiful, but perfect for those with a sensitivity to wool or other animal fibers!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

KaterinaKaterina is offering this beautiful Metalouse shawl.  It was knit using Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca andKauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn.  I love the colors!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hilary Hilary is offering this sunny, yellow Volando shawl.  It was knit using Cascade yarns heritage sock yarn, a superwash merino nylon blend.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LoriLori is offering this gorgeous Lori Shawl knit with 100% baby alpaca from Sweden, in 2 shades of soft grey and tan.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shawls for Iraq Teresa is offering this Marin shawl.  It is fully reversible, and so pretty!  It is knit in hand painted Yarn Adventures sock yarn, a wool/nylon blend.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

JennieJennie is offering this fun, striped Follow Your Arrow shawl!  It is knit in Knit Picks Gloss yarn, a blend of merino and silk!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lisa Lisa is offering this Onward shawl knit in Quince & Co.’s Lark yarn.  This is a big cozy shawl!!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mimi Mimi is offering this Glacier Sweep shawl, knit in Madelinetosh Vintage in the Rosewood colorway.  I really love this one!  It’s huge!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shawls for Iraq2Rachel is offering this Dragonfly Wings shawl.  It is a long, shallow shawl/scarf and can be worn lots of ways!  It is knit in 100% Merino gradient dyed in ‘Godswood’ colourway by Hollyberry Designs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

unnamedDaniella is giving away her first big knitting project, a Lola Shawl knit in Juniper Moon Farm yarn (40% wool, 40% alpaca, 20% silk). It is a beautiful blue!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GinnyAnd finally, I am offering this Lonely Tree Shawl knit in pure Gotland yarn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for participating! And please contact me if you need assistance!


  1. These shawls are works of art and love, and what a worthy project.

  2. Saw this too late to enter! Beautiful shawls, beautiful idea…maybe there can be another one??

  3. kelliinkc says:

    Ginny, how wonderful of you to do this. I occasionally listen to NPR and have felt so helpless knowing that there is such a need over there and not knowing how in the world I could make a difference in that need. I believe the Lord will multiply the benefits from these donations in ways we cannot even imagine. Here’s hoping you exceed your goal!

  4. Finally had my card nearby and was able to donate. Thank you for organizing this, Ginny and to everyone who helped make it happen. The stories in Iraq break my heart, and I’m grateful to know about Preemptive Love.

  5. Erin Wilson says:

    Ginny, I happen to work for Preemptive Love Coalition in Iraq, but I’m leaving this comment as a sister and amateur knitter. This is so beautiful. I know how much time and work goes into a finished piece. I know how much love goes into it.

    Know that you and your community are making a real difference.

  6. I am so thankful people are stepping up to the plate and offering what they have in order to help. God can take a little thing and make it big. I want to be a part of this….I can not knit but want to see if I can figure out how to enter the contest. Also, may I share this on my blog by “reposting” or linking back to here?

  7. Is it too late to donate a shawl? It probably is. I will donate money, but wish I had seen this early enough to offer a shawl, too. I have one ready if you need more, or if you do something like this again.

  8. rumanci says:

    I’ve seen this far too late to contribute a shawl (this time?) but think the cause, the motivation and the love from reading this has made my day – fabulous work and giving from all – I salute you and congratulations all round xx

  9. Thank you for making this a worldwide raffle! And of course thank you for taking action.

  10. It’s just terrible. There are no words. I do many times watch my children while they play, read, sleep, eat and I wonder what the future hols for us. I pray to God that they never will have to experience horrible things. I pray that I will never have to make an unspeakable choice. I pray that no one ever has to… but the news are bad and they are not getting better. I live in a place that is never far from war. And also the ISIS is not so far from here if I look at the map. I am terrified, I have clumps in my stomach. Some days it’s better and some days worse. How can we turn away our eyes and ears and not see and feel for those who are less fortunate. For those Millions of people in Syria and Iraq, in Africa that need to go through so much hardship and terror.
    Thanks for your post.

  11. Is it possible to use paypal?

  12. So thrilled to be a part of this. Thank you for organizing!

  13. Ah, I’ve been knitting away hoping to make one in time for Thursday, since you mentioned ‘next Thursday’ on IG. I know I should’ve probably sent a private message, but I wanted to make sure I could complete it (80% done right now 🙂 I’m glad you have a full dozen of beautiful shawls donated, I couldn’t pick a favorite even if I tried!

  14. Thanks for hosting.

  15. So wonderful to be part of this and, in some small way, be able to support this worthy cause. Shivery-cold and wet today (ha! British Summer!) so one of these beautiful shawls would be very welcome right now. Thank you Ginny for so graciously hosting. Much love.

  16. I think you came up with a great idea. I will donate and enter if I can figure out the technology aspect of this…this could be expanded to include seaters, socks, hats, etc……

  17. Dear Ginny, thank you for opportunity to be in this – I hope and wish it will bring as much as possible!

  18. Completely heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing this so we can help. The world needs so much help it seems overwhelming.

I love to hear from you!