By Suzanne Stone
The Carolina Pine Quilters made a field trip to Fort Gordon to offer warm well-wishes to families of wounded warriors undergoing treatment at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center.
The Aiken-based quilt guild presented a year's worth of quilts, pillows, pillowcases and other handmade items to the base's Fisher House, the family comfort home within walking distance of the hospital.
The families are welcome to keep and take home their quilts and pillows from the donation, according to Carolina Pine Quilters vice president Sally King, who with outreach program head Diane Miller presented two carloads of quilts to Fisher House manager Francisco Cruz on Wednesday.
"We have nine Quilts of Valor to go to wounded warriors themselves, seven kids' quilts, 47 pillowcases, 38 place mats, and 36 pillows for comfort or for positioning in wheelchairs," King said. "One of our members, Mae Dowtin, almost single-handedly made the pillows, most of the place mats and many of the pillowcases. She took enormous pride in being able to do this work, and our mission would not have been nearly as successful without her."
Members of the Banksia Quilt Guild also contributed some items to the donation, King said.
"This means a lot to us - these quilts and pillows are made out of love," Cruz said. "These are families of veterans and currently serving soldiers here and some of our wounded warriors. It's a good thing that these quilts are the families' to keep and take home; they can keep that connection still alive, and we want them to keep that sense of continuity. It's families supporting families here at Fisher House. This donation touches the heart."
The group began working on items for the donation, including projects for the Quilts of Valor Foundation, more than a year ago, King said.
A family friend of the Kings, Army Infantry member Oliver Hughes, lost a leg during his third deployment to Afghanistan. When the family asked what they could do for him, he asked instead that they do something for "my guys" - his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan, who he had not wanted to leave behind.
"I lost count of how many boxes we sent to Afghanistan filled with things they said they needed," King said. "Then this guild got involved. It started as a completely separate program, and it's grown to this. People are so happy to have a direction for their energies and to know that what they make will stay local."
Read more: Local quilts made with love given to wounded warriors | Aiken Standard
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski