New LWR fleece and bulk soap policies: what kit-makers need to know

  • Janel Johnson-Momanyi
  • Feb 20, 2020

Lutheran World Relief recently released its 2020 Quilt & Kit Ministry Guide, which outlined changes to our guidelines regarding fleece blankets and bulk soap donations.

As of March 1, 2020, LWR will no longer accept bulk soap donations. As of May 1, 2020, we will no longer accept full-sized fleece blankets.

We realize you may have some questions about how these changes impact the work that you are doing, especially in light of the spring ingathering season. Here are some frequently asked questions we’ve received so far. If you have any questions that are not included below, please feel free to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we've received about the changes in these guidelines. If you have a question that isn't listed here, feel free to contact us!

Why will LWR stop accepting bulk donations of soap after March 1, 2020?

Recently there have been fewer requests for bulk soap donations by our partners. In 2019 there were no requests for bulk soap donations. Many partners are sourcing soap within their own country, which is good for local economies. Considering the reduced requests, we will stop collecting bulk donations of soap.

What is considered a bulk soap donation?

A bulk donation of soap would be more than four bars of soap that are donated separately from kits. Bars of soap are still included in Baby Care Kits and Personal Care Kits. 

Is soap still needed for Baby Care Kits and Personal Care Kits?

Yes. Baby Care Kits & Personal Care Kits still need 2-3 bars of soap. This change only relates to the bulk donation of soap.

I have a bulk soap donation, what should I do with it?

Please donate your bulk soap donation to a local shelter or another organization that can use it immediately. Also, if there is a group making Baby Care Kits or Personal Care Kits, they may welcome your contribution of soap.

Why will LWR stop accepting full-sized fleece blankets starting May 1, 2020?

Our goal is to reduce the use of fleece as quickly as possible because of its effect on the environment.

Why is fleece bad for the environment?

When fleece is washed, microfibers are released into the environment. The older fleece gets, the more it sheds. This can have a negative impact – particularly on water sources – in the places where we work.

Why donate the fleece blankets in the U.S. after May 1, but stop shipping to other countries?

In the United States we have wastewater treatment plants that aid in reducing the amount of microfiber buildup in our water sources, but we still find a buildup of microfibers here in the U.S.

Many of the communities we serve, however, don’t have the same resources to assist with cleaning the water, so the microfibers are continuing to accumulate.

What if there’s a fleece square on a quilt or a fleece liner inside a quilt—will those still be accepted?

At this time, quilts that contain a few fleece patches or fleece liners will still be accepted, but we encourage using a different material in the future.

What if there’s a baby cape or baby sweater made from fleece—will those still be accepted?

At this time, baby capes and baby sweaters made of fleece will still be accepted, but we encourage using a different material in the future.

The receiving blankets in Baby Care Kits should always be made using cotton, flannel or lightweight yarn. 

Will my fleece blankets be thrown in the trash after May 1st?

No! We will continue shipping items until all items received before May 1st are processed. Items not shipped will be donated to local organizations.

What about the 60 x 80 store bought blankets—will those still be accepted?

Yes! Hand-made quilts are still preferred because of the love that goes into them, but store-bought blankets measuring approximately 60” X 80” will still be accepted. Please pack blankets separate from Mission Quilts when shipping to Lutheran World Relief.

Get the 2020 Quilt & Kit Ministry Guide!

These changes are outlined in the 2020 LWR Quilt & Kit Ministry Guidelines. You can download a copy of or request a copy to be mailed to you by calling 800.597.5972.

THANK YOU! Your dedication, kindness, generosity and hard work are deeply appreciated. Thank you for working with us to ensure our gifts of love do the most good possible around the world.

Janel Johnson-Momanyi, Feb 20, 2020 email