The Quilts of Valor project is still active and thriving. The founder of QOV was Catherine Roberts, who had a dream about her son on active duty in the desert.

In 2003 she started a small group of ladies who made quilts for (in the beginning) injured active-duty service members to accompany them during transfers from the field to medical facilities.

Their mission statement is “To cover service members and veterans touched by war.” The mission has shifted (in my opinion) somewhat. The war has desolated somewhat and attention has now turned more to honoring veterans.

Quilts must be handmade of high-quality fabrics. There is a required size the quilt must be. It will include a required information label (supplied by a Foundation leader) and must be registered (also by a Leader).

The quilt is awarded at a ceremony, not just given to a recipient. To request a quilt for a service member, someone has to contact the QOV Foundation and complete a form. Go to www.qovf.org for more information.

I’ve had the opportunity to attend two presentation ceremonies and I have to say that they are very emotional. Seeing veterans receive a beautiful quilt, which is awarded by draping it around their shoulders and includes a certificate is so heartwarming.

It’s so much more than just someone saying “Thank you for your service”. It is a tangible object that represents the veteran’s willing to defend our country.

Some statistics I found during my research as of December 2020:

December brought in 2,276 quilts

Year 2020 to date: 23,356 quilts

Lifetime total: 265,841 quilts (as reported on the QOV Foundation website)

Other countries have shown interest in this project and have started their own programs in Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.

The Foundation also has a Block Drive each year. The 2020 Block Drive brought in 38,253 blocks, which will make 1,912 quilts. You can find the block pattern on the Foundation website www.qovf.org. It changes each year. You do not have to be a member to make and donate blocks.

The Foundation has 10,000 volunteer members in 600 groups located in all 50 states. We are lucky to have two leaders in our area. Laura Winckel at quilterswithaheart@gmail.com covers the Killeen area and Stacy Clady at txpatrioticpiecemakers@gmail.com covers the Temple and Copperas Cove areas.

There’s always a need for volunteers to help complete quilts for presentation. These two leaders would welcome anyone to volunteer to quilt tops, to apply bindings or to just attach labels. If you have time on your hands please contact either Laura or Stacie to help.

A little trivia I ran across on the Texas Quilt Museum website: What the colors of our flag symbolize.

White stands for purity, red stands for valor or hardiness, and blue stands for justice and perseverance.

Maybe we need to look at our flag more often.

This just goes to show you what a simple dream can lead to.

Nancy C. JUDD is a Herald correspondent.

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