VIU is pleased to be a partner in this year’s regional effort organized by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to collect blankets for refugee families impacted by recent unrest in Syria and Iraq who are currently living in camps in Turkey. The group Embrace Relief, a partner in this blanket drive effort based in Turkey, has identified blankets (and comforters) as one of the most urgently needed items.

Last year, this blanket drive initiative collected and shipped more than 18,000 blankets to Turkey. This year’s goal is to collect 100,000 blankets by November 21, 2014. VIU will be participating in this regional blanket drive alongside Fairfax County, Arlington County, Loudoun County, the City of Alexandria, the Town of Purcellville, the American Turkish Friendship Association (ATFA), and ┬áthe Mid-Atlantic Federation of Turkic American Associations (MAFTA).

From October 20 – November 21, VIU will be accepting new or gently used blankets and comforters from those wishing to donate. Donations can be dropped off in the marked boxes at the following VIU locations:

  • Village Drive (front entrance)
  • Waples Mill (front entrance)
  • Pender (front entrance)
  • Commonwealth (back entrance)

If you would prefer to buy emergency wool blankets for donation, we recommend the options from American Lifeguard or from Bourdons.

For more information, please contact Dr. Klara Bilgin at You may also read more at