What a special week we have had in more ways than one and it’s not over.
We ended the last week of May preparing over 60 quilts to go out the door for two different ceremonies. That was a job but so thankful for all our volunteers who continue to step up to the plate and come once or twice a week to help out.
This last week we started out with Rita and I meeting Bob at Sacramento County Prison to award a quilt to an 89 year old Army Veteran who was retired military, served in two wars, was retired Sheriff, and was now volunteering to teach County Inmates to weld. We set it up to meet the family at the prison and award the quilt in the lunch room. Only a few knew what we were up to. They had it timed so that when he entered the lunch room we would walk up to him. His face was priceless because we were in Prison – we didn’t get many photos. Other Sheriffs came up to us and thanked us for what we were doing. We got a tour of the welding shop and what they were teaching – what they make is amazing. We got to eat snicker doodle cookies made by the cooks and they were the best. We found out that there are many deserving veterans who work in the prison system – bet we’re going back there.
On Thursday that same week, Andy from the United Way, Flo, and I went to award a quilt to Al Lingo, a WWII veteran who is 102 years of age and swims 60 laps in the pool. We arrived at his residence and were met by his family dressed in patriotic shirts and their grandkids with flags. They had a professional photographer with them to record the great moment. We all entered the house and he was so surprised to see him family. Then his daughter introduced me and I presented his quilt. What a moment – he was so sharp. I told him that I was a bugler and he raised his hand and started acting like he was playing a trumpet. After I told him I was a Sergeant, he called me that from then on. Everyone took pictures with him from great grandkids to daughters – all generations. It was such a loving and proud moment. It’s days like these that make it so worth what we do. I left there feeling so proud of Quilts of Honor and that was only the first stop for the day.
Later Thursday night we were invited to award Millie Lewis, Women’s Army Corps veteran from WWII and who was turning 99 years of age, a Quilt of Honor. This woman is my hero. She is who paved the way for us female veterans. She is one among the few who received a bronze star. Her stories are that of a hero. Little did I know that she would be a Quilts of Honor hero also. That night I awarded her quilt among her close friends. There was a great buffet and bunt cakes that were to die for and they packed us up a box of cakes – Flo and I didn’t turn those down. I was so honored to be in the same room as Millie. I knew during WWII the women endured beyond what many realize.
When we finished that day and Flo and I had gotten into the truck to head home, we both looked at each other and said how happy we were to have Quilts of Honor. To my surprise, 4 days later the telephone rang and it was Millie’s friend. She explained to me that Millie had a foundation and they wanted to help us. They gave us a generous donation and of course I was calm on the phone but after I got off, I screamed to everyone in the shop what had just happened. What a gift and Millie is a true angel along with their foundation.
I must say, God has always looked out for Quilts of Honor and has a hand in every moment and he shows me that more every day.
To all our volunteers and supporters – thank you so much for continuing to help us complete our mission.