Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Minnesota Happenings

Great news!  We have a new distribution point for our Quilts of Valor - just in time for Christmas.  

Eagles Healing Nest in Sauk Centre is a non- profit organization committed to meeting the needs of our veterans, service members and their families who suffer from the invisible wounds of war.  Many of our military families are struggling and need programs with a caring hand to assist them. The goal at Eagle’s Healing Nest is to help create purpose and direction with programs that help our service men and women.  Their education on suicide prevention, substance abuse, dependency and treatment of PTSD, TBI and other disorders will only be the best. 

Eagles Healing Nest facility, previously a reform school for girls, is being transformed through the vision of Melony Butler, military wife and Blue Star mother of three soldiers.  One of Butler’s sons returned from Iraq suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal, and unable to find help.  (Minnesota has the second highest suicide rate among veterans, according to Butler.)  Joining Melony as a “mom with a mission” is Gold Star mother Dorothy Sills, whose son was treated for PTSD at both the Minneapolis VA and the St. Cloud VA.  Two weeks after being discharged he died in a motorcycle accident (PTSD was determined to be the cause).  

To read more about Melony and Dorothy’s Eagles Healing Nest inspiring journey, please read the following article in the Morrison County Record dated June 18, 2012 –

There are nine residential cottages currently on the property, and a number of service buildings.  One building is already full of veterans.  A second building may be opened yet this year - and when that fills it will house 20 vets.  The plan is to have a third building opened later in 2013.  It will be our task to provide a QOV to each of these veterans.  The St. Cloud Heritage Quilt Group will be making twin size bed quilts for each of the resident’s rooms.  If they need help with those, they will contact us.

On December 3rd, eight QOV volunteers made the trip to Sauk Centre carrying 20 quilts.  18 were presented, each inscribed with a veteran’s name.  The veterans were very thankful for the quilts.  Melony and Dottie were good hosts as the group joined the veterans for lunch.  Al Johnson took many photos including the one shown here.  During their visit Dottie asked if she could pay us to make 2 quilts for her young grandsons.  As mentioned earlier, Dottie lost her son to PTSD 3 years and 5 months ago and would like the quilts in his memory for his children.  We unanimously agreed to make the quilts without payment.  

Once again, thank you to everyone who volunteers their time and expertise in the making of Quilts of Valor.  It truly is a rewarding effort.  Merry Christmas!

Submitted by Marcia Stevens

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