By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Beaumont, Texas-based non-profit, Quilts for Vets, is hoping to connect with World War II and Korean Conflict veterans to present them with handmade quilts as a thank-you for their service to the nation.
LinMarie Garsee, the organization’s founder, said the idea for the quilts came after numerous trips with her veteran father to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.
“I kept seeing all these older veterans. Most of them were single men – either widowers or divorced. They seemed alone,” Garsee said. “I had been stockpiling patriotic quilts for a while at my house, so I began giving them away to the veterans.”
The response was overwhelming. According to Garsee, their faces lit up in surprise and gratitude to have a stranger bestow a beautiful and warm gift to them.
“I prayed about it and have determined that this is my ministry,” she said.
As the non-profit has grown, Garsee has enlisted the help of three friends who are contributing quilt tops.
“I am a single person. I can’t make all these quilts alone,” she said. “If anyone wants to help, we will gladly accept quilt blocks, fabric or monetary donations because we have to pay to have the quilt tops quilted. Our organization takes zero dollars for administrative fees or for piecing these quilts. It pays for none of my travel as I deliver the quilts.”
Garsee, who works full-time as a private investigator and mitigation specialist on death penalty, murder and sexual assault cases, donates all the money from her side job as a process server to the charity.
“All of the money from my side gig as a process server and from my Social Security check goes toward my travel to deliver these quilts,” Garsee said. “We hand-deliver these quilts. We want the veterans to know they are special enough for us to come to them.”
Garsee has a trip scheduled on Feb. 21 to see a World War II veteran in Baltimore. After that, she will travel to Austin, Beaumont and Oklahoma to deliver more quilts.
Anyone wanting to donate quilt tops or quilting services is welcome to participate. Quilt tops cannot be larger than 58 X 68 inches and lap quilts should be no larger than 45 X 45 inches. Garsee encourages the use of patriotic colors and fabrics.
“If someone wants to make a monetary donation, we will send them a receipt for their tax-deductible donation,” she said.
For more information on Quilts for Vets or to suggest a veteran for a quilt donation, contact Garsee by emailing her at email@example.com or calling 409-656-5955.