Photo courtesy of Audra Miller 

Karen Kreider Yoder on her San Francisco patio with finished comforters to support MCC’s Great Winter Warm-up.

As MCC continues to carry out its mission of responding to basic human needs during COVID-19, we rely on the compassionate support of others to do so.  

One way MCC has been able to continue providing this support throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic is through giving warm comforters to those in need. Throughout the month of February, countless individuals pieced together thousands of one-of-a-kind comforters to be sent to countries like Haiti, Jordan, Syria, Ukraine and Puerto Rico, through MCC's Great Winter Warm-up.


Karen Schlabaugh, Merle Schlabaugh, William Eash, Esther Kreider Eash with 33 comforters at Bethel College, North Newton Kansas. Photo courtesy of Mark Kreider.

In October 2020, Karen Kreider Yoder was inspired to honor MCC’s one hundred years by committing to make one hundred comforters for those in need around the world. Due to COVID-19, Kreider Yoder found herself with a nonexistent work commute and additional time to devote to the project, saying, “The need is as great as in the past few years, and I wanted to be a part of this effort.”  

 “The need is as great as in the past few years, and I wanted to be a part of this effort.” 

- Karen Kreider Yoder 

However, this was not the first time she set out to support MCC in this fashion. Kreider Yoder previously celebrated her 60th birthday by making 60 comforters. Regardless, COVID-19 presented a new set of challenges, such as how to encourage others to join in the project since they would not be able to meet in person in large groups around the quilt frame as they did in previous years.  

Kreider Yoder contacted 100 friends and family, posted photos of some of her first comforters on Facebook, and even offered details of how to piece the comforters with an invitation to join the effort. Jan Radesky of Benicia, California, pieced and tied six comforters, after learning how to do so from a quick Zoom session led by Kreider Yoder.  


Jan Radesky with her stack of six comforters in Benicia, California. Photo courtesy of Jan Radesky.
Kreider Yoder’s ambitious goal was reached by the help and support of around 30 individuals, alongside First Mennonite Church of San Francisco who offered supplies and funds, as well as helped tie comforters in a physically distanced format on Kreider Yoder’s outdoor patio. 

Two special volunteers were Kreider Yoder’s sisters, Esther Kreider Eash, of North Newton, Kansas, and Joan Kreider of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who both agreed to complete as many comforters as they could, overall sending 41 comforters to the MCC Material Resource Center in Kansas. 

Karen Kreider Yoder at the West Coast MCC Material Resource Center in Reedley, California. Photo courtesy of Levi Yoder.

Kreider Yoder says as they worked on the comforters, they thought of the hundred years of MCC’s work in development, health, education, and their own family’s involvement with MCC over the years. 

Karen and her sisters remembered their parents, Robert and Lois Kreider, who worked in post-WWII Germany doing MCC relief work in the 1940’s and again in the 1960’s. 

“We hope that these comforters will help continue the work of MCC, bringing a bit of warmth, beauty, and love to many.”

- Karen Kreider Yoder

As COVID-19 may continue to present obstacles, we are thankful for the commitment and support of volunteers and donors alike. If you would like to join the effort from home, consider donating towards a gift of warmth and comfort. Your donation will help meet urgent needs for people affected by disasters and conflict.