August 25, 2019 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Comfort Quilters honor veterans

In June, 14 veterans were awarded comfort quilts.

Two more could be awarded tonight at the St. Joseph Festival by the Comfort Quilters of St. Joseph.

Donna Guzy of St. Joseph said six women from Rantoul, St. Joseph and Mahomet work on the project.

The project is a part of the Quilts of Valor Foundation’s effort to have volunteers make quilts for veterans who have been touched by war.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation began in 2003 when founder Catherine Roberts’ son Nat was deployed in Iraq.

Roberts had a dream where a young man was sitting on the side of a bed in the middle of the night. She could tell he was in despair. The next thing she saw was him wrapped in a quilt and the young man’s demeanor changed to one of hope and wellbeing. That inspired Roberts to create a volunteer team who would donate time and materials to make a quilt. The first QOV in the nation was awarded in November 2003 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to a young soldier from Minnesota who had lost his leg in Iraq.

Guzy said she has a list of 16 veterans that the group is working on quilts for. Guzy said if a local resident knows of a veteran who should be honored they can send her the name.

“The project is ongoing,” Guzy said. “It will continue for as long as our country is at war.”

The Comfort Quilters of St. Joseph were founded in August 2011.

Guzy said the veterans are always happy to receive their quilts which are usually red, white and blue.

Guzy said the veterans are usually shocked that someone has taken the time to make a quilt for them.

“That keeps me motivated,” Guzy said. “Their hugs and tears of thankfulness.”

Guzy said some veterans she has presented quilts to have never been thanked for their service.

She recently presented quilts to two veterans in Urbana. One presentation was a surprise for the person who nominated the original quilt recipient.
“I knew the person who nominated him was also a vet,” Guzy said. “She was in tears because she too never received a thank you for her service.”

The quilts take weeks to complete.

“Other more complicated patterns take a month,” Guzy said. “That’s just piecing the top. Its another month for each to get quilted, bound and labeled.”

Guzy said the group is welcoming donations to go toward the purchase of fabric, batting and thread.

“If you have quilt shop quality fabric in patriotic colors we would be very happy to receive that also,” she said.

Residents interested in participating in the project can contact Guzy at dguzy62@gmail.com or 469-7204 for more information.

For more information, visit online http://www.qovf.org/index.html.

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