Six sewing machines whirr in one area. In another, women tack together the almost-finished quilts. The 18 women of the Folk Art Class at The Campbell County Senior Citizen's Center in La Follette, TN have had to spread out to work as their numbers have grown.
When they are finished, the quilts will be sent to the non-profit military support group Soldiers' Angels in Germany for distribution to wounded troops at Landstuhl military hospital.
"We love our country. We love our troops and what they are doing", says member Faye McGhee. "It breaks my heart that they have to go away from their homes to keep the rest of us safe. As you know my husband and my son were military men. My son has finished 33 years. 9 years in the Marines, the rest in the Army National Guard. He is retiring as a Major. Some of the other ladies have family members that have served also."
The Campbell County Senior Citizen's Center is owned by its 300 members, who raise funds within the community and through grants.
The Folk Art Class began with a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission through Arts Builds Communities, which was used for training in the art of hand piecing and quilting on a quilt frame. The group is currently on its fourth grant which will provide funding to hire artists to teach American Indian bead work as well as tapestry scenery quilting, combining old traditions in with the new.
Since 2007, the Folk Art Class at the center, which makes the quilts, has grown from 8 to 18 members.
"We are devoted to helping our community", continues Faye. "Nursing homes, homeless people, abused children and others that we find who need our help. It is such an important part of the area, that I hope we can continue to do our part. The Lord has blessed me so very much, that I want to do my part to help where help is needed most... I can go on and on, when it comes to the center and the people."
On behalf of the Wounded Warriors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Soldier's Angels would like to thank each and every one of them for their patriotism and their compassion:
Maudine Daugherty, Mary Horner, Wanda Hansen, Peggy Hensley, Pat Garner, Pat Lay, Charlotte Cabrera, Linda Bruce, Bernadine Johnson, Mildred Kimbell, Barbara Jones, Rosemary Lively, Sandy Brehm, Marie Wentland, Rose Reimer, Louise Powers, Sue Troy, Faye McGhee.
Thank you, ladies! We love you!
If you'd like to receive the guidelines for making and sending quilts or fleece blankets for our patients, please email me.