I received the first email from Sandy Mandigo asking about making blankets for the patients at Landstuhl back in January of 2007. By March she'd set an ambitious goal for herself - make one quilt each week for a year. Receiving her beautiful quilts became a regular occurance, often together with black fleece caps she'd also sewed.
Sandy's trips to the post office became a regular occurance, too. "Didn't you just send two blankets last week?", she was asked. "Yes, and the week before that and the week before that." So of course Sandy told her post office clerk the story.
I want to thank you for your beautiful quilt you made for our soldiers. My husband recently had emergency surgery at Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany. Your quilt brightened his dreary room. He is currently deployed to Kuwait. It meant a lot to both of us that there are wonderful people, like you, helping our "heroes." He is now back in Kuwait and recovering very well. He brought your quilt back with him to Kuwait. You and your organization are "angels" to our "heroes." Again, thank you for your kindness.
In October she'd reached her goal ahead of schedule, but by January 2008 she was back! Over the next couple of years Sandy worked on other projects like cool scarves for deployed troops, blankets for returning veterans, and stuffed animals for children at her local hospital. But she continued to send us quilts, too. "Quilts 30 and 31 left New York today", read a typical email.
Then, in January, this email: "Sent 4 more quilts and 10 more hats. The 100th quilt is in there. Don't think I'm giving up just because I reached that mark! I went out and bought enough fleece for 6 more blankets and 15 more hats. Must pace myself so I don't have to get out the credit card. But even that wouldn't stop me. Love, Sandy."
When I look back at my years as a Soldiers' Angels volunteer, some of my most cherished memories are of getting to know the many great Americans out there like Sandy. Thank you, Sandy, for your dedication and your thoughtfulness to those who have sacrificed so much for our country. Love you!