A Warm Welcome For International Students

International students with their hand-made quilts.

Photo by David Norris

International students with their hand-made quilts.

There’s something special about a hand-sewn quilt. Perhaps it’s the beauty of handiwork that is one of a kind, or the warmth a quilt provides on a cold winter’s night. Or maybe it’s the love that goes into the creation of a special quilt.

Seven years ago Carolyn Kramer and Hilda Jaspersen of New Ulm, Minnesota, wanted to do something for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. They decided to help by sewing quilts for victims of the disaster. The quilts were made and shipped to Japan. After the need in Japan subsided, the two continued to make quilts for a variety of organizations.

A result of the quilting has become a welcome orientation gift for international students at Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) and Martin Luther College. Kramer and Jaspersen organized a group of around sixteen quilters from St. John’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm to make quilts for new international students at both schools. 

The quilts have been very well received by the thankful students, but even more so at Bethany simply because of the large numbers of international students attending the college. Just this year, there are twenty-six new international students at BLC.

Both Kramer and Jaspersen have some close ties to Bethany Lutheran College. Jaspersen’s sons Dan and Jason are both BLC alumni. Kramer’s daughter, Glenda Bossow, is a staff member at Bethany, and she’s also had grandchildren attend BLC.

The group of New Ulm quilters has crafted over 300 quilts in the seven years of work, this fall being the last time they’ll be doing a large scale sewing. 

A special gift from special friends of Bethany – thank you Carolyn and Hilda for your generosity and kindness for these Bethany students!