A local quilter is inviting the community to participate in the Quilts of Valor Foundation’s nationwide event Saturday.

For a decade, the foundation has asked sewers across America to come together on Feb. 1, the date of National Freedom Day, to sew quilts for veterans and wounded service members in military hospitals. Each year, more than 10,000 people participate, according to a release from the organization.

Handing out the lap-sized quilts reminds veterans they are not forgotten, said Laura Winckel, local representative of the Quilters with a Heart chapter of the foundation.

“I gave a quilt out on Christmas Eve and the tears flowed and he thought it was the coolest thing,” she said. “He feels forgotten and this made him realize he’s not forgotten and that we care.”

Those who wish to participate locally can get involved at A Sewing Basket in Salado or Killeen Sew and Quilt.

No sewing experience is necessary, Winckel said.

“We have jobs for people who don’t have a sewing machine or don’t know how to sew,” she said. “They can bring their sewing machine, and any quilting supples. If they don’t have a sewing machine and don’t know how to sew, I can show themhow to iron or cut, or maybe they can just have a nice conversation with another person and learn about Quilts of Valor.”

The quilts will be distributed at military hospitals, to entire service units returning from combat deployments and presented individually at Veterans Affairs centers. In total, more than 95,000 quilts have been given.

The goal is to pass 100,000 quilts by the end of the year.

rthayer@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7463 | @KDHmilitary

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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