Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Quilts of Valor – local group: Stars Over CU

This local group is affiliated with the Quilts of Valor Foundation, a 501©3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible. Locally we do not solicit donations however frequently people do offer donations. Donations are used to purchase fabric, batting, and quilting supplies for the quilts. It is estimated that it costs $250 to complete a quilt.

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. They are to be a tangible reminder of appreciation and gratitude to service members.

These quilts are not just another ‘award or medal’ but are meant as a “Welcome Home” gift to be used as the recipient sees fit One veteran told me that when he has a hard time sleeping at night due to long term health issues from his service, he goes out on the couch and wraps himself in his quilt for comfort and the ability to go to sleep. Some hang it on a wall in their home as a constant reminder that people care and other simply place it in a place of honor in their home.

Many Vietnam Veterans were not welcomed home but rather ostracized for their service. The presentation which is made is frequently accompanied by the tears of the recipient and the quilter.

Locally we have ‘covered’ men and women veterans in Arthur, Tuscola, Mahomet. Champaign, Urbana, Tolono, Rantoul, Charleston and Champaign County. Sometimes we have gone to private homes for presentations, especially if veterans health is an issue. Presentations have been made at churches, Legion Halls and other public venues.

To nominate a Veteran – 1st ask the Veteran’s permission – then go HERE to complete the form as best one can. The Foundation will process it and notify the nearest QOV group to initiate the presentation. If someone wants to nominate someone who lives locally, we still ask that you complete the nomination form, but then the person can notify our local group via our email address and we can speed up the presentation.

Quilts of Valor was founded by a mother whose son was deployed to Iraq in 2003. Her desire was to see that service members would be welcomed home with love and gratitude.

To date: more than 330,000 Quilts of Valor have been presented. All recipients have their name recorded with the Foundation.

Our local group is composed of 16 quilters, mainly from the Illini Country Stitchers Guild. Guild members frequently donate patriotic themed fabric and help make quilt blocks. We met on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday morning of the month at Everyday Quilting in Urbana to plan and sew quilts Volunteer stitchers are always welcome to check us out and do not need to be a Guild member to participate.

A 12-year-old girl, whom I’ve been teaching to quilt, has just completed a Quilt of Valor to be presented soon. We also have had a man create a Quilt of Valor for presentation for his son.

There will be a presentation at the Windsor of Savoy Memorial Day commemoration on Monday, May 29

A Quilt of Valor will be on display at the Cunningham Children’s Home Quilt Show June 2 and 3rd.