One of my favorite involvements over the past years has been making quilts for the Quilts of Valor foundation. I like charities that are personal, where I know that something I do, personally, makes a difference. I think that’s why the animal rescue work I’ve done for the past 15 years has made me so happy. Making quilts for wounded veterans and thanking them for their service is another labor of love for thousands of quilters around the country.
QOVF was recently featured on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. Want to know why? Click here. If you saw or read about the soldier who came out of unconsciousness to salute his superior officer, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I just got this email from the QOVF:
“To the Quilts of Valor Community of Volunteers,
We need your help! The QOVF story on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Monday evening has brought impressive national attention, new Facebook friends, website visitors,
interested volunteers, many new groups registered AND over 251 requests for Quilts of Valor since the broadcast.
Each month we have standing requests for over 240 quilts from medical facilities in Afghanistan and Germany, as well as stateside programs working with both active military and veterans. With the additional 251 requests, we are short of Quilts of Valor needed for presentations in the next couple of months. If you have a quilt under way, please get it finished and get it to your State Coordinator or to our Destinations Coordinator. If you have not started your next Quilt of Valor, would you try to get another one completed and to the long armer before the holiday season is upon us?
Here a just a few of the comments that we have received with the requests for our comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.
–This request is for my dad. He has Type 2 Diabetes from Agent Orange, and has been sick for several months. Out of six boys in his family five of them served in the military. Thank you for all that you ladies are doing.
–My father served in the 93rd evac hospital in Saigon (1964-1965). He is an anesthetist (RN) and spent day after day in the operating room helping patch up the injured men. He’s never received any kind of honor or award for his service. This would be the perfect recognition.
–Yvonne was an Army surgical nurse stationed in harm’s way in each deployment. Severely wounded In January 2010 by a
mortar that blew up outside her tent, she has been struggling to recover from nerve damage, TBI, and PTSD. She deserves a Quilt of Valor more than anyone I know. Please consider her as a recipient.
–My husband was severely injured while serving in Vietnam. He still has his Purple Heart, tattered as it is, hanging from his rear view mirror. When he saw the news about your quilts, he commented, “I would love to have one.” This is the first thing he has asked for in 43 years.
–Spent 8 months in Afghanistan last year working as aircrew. Will be deploying again in a few months during the winter. Having a quilt from you would be an honor. If it’s not I understand. My roommate had a quilt that had been given to him through QOVF and has had me interested ever since.
–I was wounded on Nov.5, 1969. After several weeks of surgery in Vietnam and Japan, I recuperated enough to be shipped back to the U.S.A. I arrived at St. Albans Naval Hospital in New York on a freezing winter day. We were transferred to an unheated school bus dressed only in our hospital pajamas and a thin robe. I could have used one of your quilts to ease my shivering as we rode for an hour before arriving at he hospital. Tears came to my eyes when I heard about Quilts of Valor on the nightly news.
Thank you so much for showing our troops someone cares.
Thank you for all you have done and thank you in advance for helping us honor these men and women who have given so much for us.
Susan Gordon, Executive Director”
As soon as I have time to sew again, I’m going to gather up my red, white, gold and blue fabrics (I always look for those colors on sales racks at quilt stores) and make something spectacular. Quilters use their own fabrics, batting, quilt backing, thread, etc. Some quilt the finished tops themselves, while others send their beautifully pieced tops off to volunteer longarm quilters for finishing. The quilt is returned, the quilter sews on the binding and label, and then it is sent–once more at the quilter’s expense–to a regional coordinator or even a hospital to a chaplain for distribution. Often the veteran selects his or her own quilt from a stack of QOVF quilts. Sometimes there is a ceremony.
It is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever been involved in. If you want to help or donate money for fabric or shipping, please go to the website. Thank you!
If you want to make a quilt, find a group in your area or download the requirements from the website. You don’t have to join anything and there are no dues. You can stitch away in your own house at your own speed and make a contribution. If you’re more social–and I’m resolving to be more social in the future–you can find a local group and sew with them.
In this technological world we live in, it’s nice to revert back to such a personal way to express caring and appreciation. Besides, there’s something magically healing about a quilt. I love them more than I love cowboy boots, and that’s saying a lot.