HUNTLEY – Nearly 30 volunteers from McHenry County for the past year have been making lap-size quilts for area veterans to show appreciation for their service to the country.
The local Quilts of Valor group based in Huntley wants to continue quilting for the veterans, but is running low on funds, which could force the volunteers to put their sewing needles away.
“We will keep going as long as our funds keep coming in,” said Jan Meyer, the co-founder of the local group.
Quilts of Valor is a national foundation that began after a Delaware woman started quilting for her son while he was deployed in Iraq. Meyer estimated that groups across the country have given about 70,000 quilts to veterans from World War II to Afghanistan.
In McHenry County, the local group started after Meyer and Sue Bruss, a fellow resident of Sun City in Huntley, agreed to make nearly 70 quilts for a special veterans event in August 2011.
The two heard about the Quilts of Valor after attending a quilting convention. They immediately went to Huntley’s local Gazebo Quilters Guild, which raised the money to support the August event.
From there, Meyer and Bruss were given $6,000 to start a local group to help veterans. The group has since made nearly 80 quilts for area veterans.
The volunteers also have been working for nearly two months to make quilts for the nearly 60 veterans who attended the Transitional Living Services’ fundraiser Saturday at the Crystal Lake Country Club.
The active workload and preference toward using high-quality fabric has practically exhausted the group’s $6,000 start-up funds. That money pot has dwindled to the $200 range, which will provide enough for the remainder of the year.
The group is seeking small and large donations from residents and is seeking business sponsorships, Bruss said. They also welcome quilters who want to volunteer and give back to veterans.
“It’s a huge way to say thank you. When you are sewing something like this, there is love in every stitch,” Bruss said. “We don’t get a lot of sleep, but we do get a lot of reward.”
How to donate
Donors can call Sue Bruss at 847-961-5157. Bruss also has volunteer information for the local Quilts of Valor group, which meets monthly at Quilt in Joy, 10709 Dundee Road, Huntley.