Monday, August 15, 2011
Elsie is a long arm quilter and quilted the first quilt and the last quilt that we quilted on a Gammill Professional Longarm Quilting Systems during the weekend. Susan Gordan, Regional coordinator for North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia for the Quilts of Valor Foundation, stated the group quilted 16 quilts during their recent gathering and completed 78 more tops and backings to go to long armers across the state for final finishing.
We’ve all heard the stories….. A facility or hospital has “hundreds” of QOVs stuffed in a closet and these quilts are not reaching our wounded heroes. These stories spread very quickly through email or Yahoo groups and they negatively affect overall participation in Quilts of Valor. Sadly, there may be some truth behind these stories and since we all want to know that, the quilts we have made are comforting a deserving service member, not languishing in a closet somewhere, requesting a destination through the qovf.org website is more important than ever.
One thing to keep in mind is the volunteers and service members who serve as our Points of Contact (POCs) often have limited space to store Quilts of Valor which is why they request only a certain amount of quilts be sent to them either weekly or monthly. They also know approximately how many recipients will pass through their facility in a given time. Going through Destination Coordination reduces the likelihood of a facility receiving too many, or too few, quilts since assignments are being coordinated across the country and overseas.
POCs and their situations change frequently as their tours end or they are reassigned elsewhere. It is easier if the POC only has to notify the Destination Coordinator of their replacement or their new address, instead of trying to contact everyone who has sent them quilts in the past. We have received word of quilts “following” a POC to their new assignment for months after they have moved on. Unfortunately, they are sometimes not in a position to present QOVs and have to arrange for the quilts to be shipped back to their correct destination. Obviously, this is inefficient and delays the presentation of the quilts.
New POCs and destinations are being developed monthly and going through Destination Coordination allows these new destinations to receive the quilts they need in a timely and coordinated manner. This also includes “one-time” events such as Welcome Home Initiatives and retreats. The other side of this is that as operations wind down in certain parts of the war zones (or hospitals close) a certain destination may no longer be valid at all.
I understand many quilters want their quilts to go to service members in their own states and as such it may be tempting to send or deliver their quilts directly to their “local” facility. However, if we want to eliminate “that closet” and know that our quilt(s) are going to the destination where the need is greatest at any given time; please consider Requesting a Destination for your completed QOVs at http://www.qovf.org/req-destination.html.
Stats from July show that more quilts are needed to fill destination requests:
July Destination Coordination Statistics
(does not include “local reports”)
Monthly Standing Requests
Qty requested = 106
Qty fulfilled = 115
Weekly Standing Requests
Qty requested = 65 a week/260 a month
July 3-9 12
July 10-16 72
July 17-23 13
July 24-30 8
Qty requested = 21
Qty fulfilled = 16
“One-time” Group Requests
Qty requested = 20
Qty fulfilled = 15