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By Sara R. from Daily Kos

My sister, Ann, delivering quilts to the Palo Alto VA Hospital prior to NN13

The DK Quilt Guild did something special last year.  We made 47 wheelchair and lap quilts and delivered them to the VA Hospital in Palo Alto for the patients in the Spinal Cord Injury Unit.  But that wasn't all!  We also delivered a small army of teddy bears, donated by the DK community:




And we delivered thirty-five cards made by state of confusion:


Linkage took photos of the delivery of the quilts -- you can see them all in a photo gallery here.  It was a great day -- and we want to do it again!  

More below the fold...


There happens to be a VA Hospital near NN14, The John D. Dingell VA Medical Center.  I called the Volunteer Office last week and learned that they would love to have quilts and teddy bears from us -- this time for their nursing home.  The nursing home has 65 beds so this is a more ambitious project this time -- but I think we can pull it together in the six months until NN14, especially if we involve quilters from outside our community.

Target date for delivery: Wednesday, July 16, 2014.  If you are attending NN14 and want to come along, great!

This is what we will need.

1.  Volunteers to make quilts.

So far, these people have raised their hands.  Please let me know in the comments if you would like to join in and I will add you to the list.

Sara R: 2 quilts
winglion: 2 quilts
Beadlady: 2 quilts
Pam from Calif: 1 quilt
Winifred3: 1 quilt
Ninepatch: 1 quilt
SilverWillow: 2 quilts
leu2500: 1 quilt
FloridaSNMOM: 1 quilt
madmommy: 1 quilt
Bridget: 1 quilt
NEPatriot: 1 quilt
Wood Dragon: 2 quilts
jlms qkw: 1 quilt

RUNNING TOTAL: 19 quilts, only 46 to go!

Pam from Calif -- I finally got to meet her because of the Palo Alto VA hospital quilt project!

2. Depository or Depositories in Michigan

We will need a place to send the quilts and teddy bears come the end of June -- someone in Michigan who will be coming to NN14.  If you are fairly local to Detroit and driving to NN14 and have room in your house and car/van/truck for quilts and bears, we would love to hear from you!

3. Teddy Bears

Closer to the time, we will do a fundraiser to buy the teddy bears.  Last year, we got them from Half Price Plush and they were not expensive.

Why teddy bears, you may ask?  Small toys like this connect the generations in playfulness.  This gives the patients something to give to the children in their lives.  It is no small thing -- and the VA encourages such donations.  I hope llbear will pop in to explain better the importance of the bears.

WOOT!!  Teddy bears are a done deal -- joanbrooker will acquire them for us!

4. Cards

I haven't cleared this with her but I propose we raise some money to hire state of confusion to make 65 cards for this project.  It is too many (these take time to make!) to ask as a straight donation, in my opinion.  Her cards are made entirely by hand and resonate with such spirit.  They will convey our other gifts with love, respect, and gentle humor.

Any other ideas?

Perhaps we could have custom t-shirts made for this event -- for the veterans and for anyone who would like to have one?  How about a paperback book drive?  The nursing home could certainly use books.  Or jigsaw puzzles?  Please brainstorm!  This doesn't have to be just about quilts -- we can involve the gifts and talents of other parts of our community, too.

In closing...

It is important to remember the veterans in hospitals.  Whether severely injured in war or nearing the end of life, let us not forget them.  I'd love to see service to the vets in hospitals become a regular part of Netroots Nation -- for there is sure to be a VA Hospital near any city in which the conference might be held.  For people who have never visited a VA hospital, this is also a good opportunity to check one out.  Who knows?  The urge to volunteer at one's local VA might just take hold!

Let's do this thing!

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