Hello quilters from the Stars of Hope, North Carolina.
I have been working with local groups (Chapel Hill-Durham NC) to make quilts of valor for our servicemen and women. Through this effort, I was asked by Catherine Roberts almost 2 years ago to provide quilts for reservists returning from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are individual reservists, USMC and USN, who are called to active duty and deployed to augment active-duty personnel. When they return to the US, most return directly to their civilian life and have no military support group as they are not part of a reserve unit like the Army or National Guard. The Marines and the Navy, cognizant of the problems associated with deployment , plan 3 day weekend workshops for these returning warriors where facilitators and chaplains are available to offer services and hopefully prevent some of the long range problems associated deployment. While not the only area of concern, they focus on signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Many, but not all, of these returning warriors have purple hearts. But surely all have been affected by the trauma of war.
Well, this is where we enter the picture. The coordinators of these Returning Warrior Workshops (RWW) have been able to secure quilts of valor for all of the marines and sailors at several workshops. The quilts are presented at an Honor Banquet on the Saturday evening of the workshop. I have had the honor to assist the chaplains and coordinators in gathering the quilts. Needless to say it is not easy to meet the need for 80-100 quilts at one time. There are 3 RWWs for Marines coming up in the winter 2011. One is scheduled for Pensacola, January 28-30, 2011. I am asking the QOVF groups in Florida for help.
First, we need quilts (patriotic colors preferred but other neutral or darker tones appropriate). They should have labels and meet the minimum Quilts of Valor size (larger fine but not smaller).
Second, it would be great of one or two quilters living in Pensacola or close by could be the primary contacts and receive the quilts. They would be responsible for delivering the quilts to the hotel on the Saturday afternoon of the RWW (Jan29). This would save hundreds of dollars in shipping if quilts could go directly to Pensacola. I have numerous contacts and will continue to help gather the quilts needed but I would have them sent directly to the contact in Pensacola. The deal is-- that we have a quilts for every Marine attending the workshop or none can be presented. The ceremony is very touching and I am sure that 4-5 of you can attend the program and presentation part of the Honor Banquet. Kate Meyers (SE regional QofV coordinator) and I attended a workshop in Nashville, TN. It was very touching. The Marines were so grateful for the outpouring of support and love woven in the fabric of the quilts.
If we are fortunate and get more quilts than needed, Chaplain Shelly Scheibeler my contact, will save the extra quilts for St. Louis and National Harbor, MD for 2 Marine RWWs at those locations. I will be requesting help from QofV groups in those areas. Chaplain Shelly is great and gives an awesome presentation about Quilts of Valor Foundation at the banquet.
If you are willing to be the Florida contact or if you and your guilt can help provide quilts for these warriors please let me know. Call or email me for any questions.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514