Advertisement

Calgary volunteers craft ‘thank you’ quilts for military veterans during COVID-19 pandemic

Click to play video: 'Calgary volunteers craft ‘thank you’ quilts for military veterans during COVID-19 pandemic' Calgary volunteers craft ‘thank you’ quilts for military veterans during COVID-19 pandemic
There’s a renewed show of support for military veterans in the Calgary area. As Gil Tucker reports, it comes at the hands of some dedicated volunteers who’ve been carrying on through COVID-19. – Feb 15, 2022

There’s a renewed show of support for military veterans in the Calgary area.

It comes at the hands of some dedicated volunteers, who’ve been carrying on their work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meeting up virtually to share ideas and show each other their creations, members of the Quilts of Valour organization have continued sewing steadily over the past two years.

Read more: ‘I am building memories’: Meet the 84-year-old who is Canada’s quilter to the stars

“We make quilts to thank our military personnel for their service,” Lana Butcher said. “We call it: ‘wrapping them in a warm hug of thank you.'”

The quilters donate their creations to Canadian military veterans and to those currently serving in the country’s military.

Story continues below advertisement

“My father was a World War II vet who was shot down over France,” quilter Valerie Lange said.

“We know what it’s like to have people be away from home and come back and not be quite the same as they were when they left.”

The group usually provides quilts to about 200 veterans in the Calgary area each year, with those donations dropping off during the pandemic.

Read more: Warm welcome for refugees from local quilters

“(The vets) get so excited when they see us and of course during COVID, we haven’t been able to go and present them personally,” Lange said. “And it’s that personal touch that keeps each of us going.”

Now, with COVID-19 restrictions easing, the quilters are looking forward to once again handing over their handiwork to veterans.

One of the recipients during February 2022 will be Dennis Hawkins, who served with U.N. peacekeeping forces on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus during the 1970s.

“It’s just amazing. I’m very appreciative,” Hawkins said. “When I have my afternoon naps, it’ll be just a bit of warmth and just a beautiful reminder of my service.”

Read more: Knotty Grandmas: Edmonton seniors quilt for a great cause

Story continues below advertisement

The quilts will be welcome gifts for several Calgary-area veterans, many of whom are feeling isolated during the pandemic.

“The Legions have been closed, so they haven’t had that link,” Lange said. “We’ve done (plenty of) quilts, because we can’t go anywhere, so we stay in our sewing rooms.”

Members of Quilts of Valour say they’ll continue working hard to keep up with demand throughout 2022.

“We wouldn’t have our way of life if it wasn’t for our veterans,” Butcher said. “So this is our ‘thank you,’ our respect and appreciation for what they’ve given us.”

Sponsored content