The Quilts of Valor (QOV) Foundation has named the Little Egypt Quilting Group as a registered QOV group. The Little Egypt Quilters had its first meeting in June of 2019 with a goal to cover every veteran in southern Illinois from Mt. Vernon to Cairo On Saturday afternoon, they helped cover six more local veterans from Massac County, during a presentation at the American Legion Hall in front of a crowd of over 50 people.

"We began this group with just two people Mary Helen McGreevy and myself, Ann Collins. We invited a few of our quilting friends to join us at an informational meeting in June 2019, with the state coordinator Jan Copeland. From there we formed our group with 17 members," said Copeland.

This was the first time the Little Egypt Quilting Group has made a presentation to veterans in Metropolis.

Those veterans receiving quilts during Saturday's presentation included: Bobbie Inman, who served in the Army from 1968-70 and fought in Vietnam; Timothy Stephens, who served five years of active duty in Army from 2004-2009 and was stationed at Fort Hood. He was deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006 and again from 2008-2009; Tim Hayslett who was a member of the United States Air Force; Robert Travis, who served in the Navy during World War II from 1944-46; Brian Green, who served in the Army from 1985-87 and served in the Gulf War; and Dr. John Hodge, also a World War II veteran who was in the Navy from 1938-41 and again in 1943-45.

QOV is a national community service initiative that brings together quilters to make quilts for active service members and veterans. Catherine Roberts -- a Blue Star Mom -- founded QOV in 2003. Her son's yearlong deployment to Iraq provided the initial inspiration and her desire to see that returning warriors were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved. She felt that linking quilters together in a national effort could achieve her goal of covering all service members and veterans touched by war.

These quilts, would be a tangible reminder of Americans' appreciation and gratitude. This grassroots effort quickly spread across the United States and today boasts thousands of quilters form all 50 states. Over 242,000 quilts have been awarded. The QOVs are stitched with love, prayers and healing thought. Service members and veterans who have been touched by war are awarded this tangible award of gratitude that unequivocally says: "Thank You for your service, sacrifice and valor."

Little Egypt Quilting Group meets the second Wednesday of each month at the Lake of Egypt Fire Protection Department, 12228 Lake Rd, Marion, IL 62959. Individuals may reach the guild by emailing: lequilters2019@yahoo.com or text 618-694-7484.

Collins said the guild would be happy to help individuals set up a satellite group in order to help make Quilts of Valor.

According to Copeland, some of the ladies had never sewn or it had been years since they had, but today they are making tops. "Some of our members like to hand sew so they do all the binding for us there is a job for everyone. We range in age from 13 to 90-plus. In January we began an Under our Wings program thru Quilts of Valor, which is geared to the younger school age group. They have made their first quilt and will present it in the spring to a veteran," said Copeland.

To date, the Little Egypt Quilting Group has been honored to present 28 quilts. Every quilt the guild makes stays here in southern Illinois and each quilt is either made by one person or made by many people. "There is joy, laughter, love and tears in every quilt. We have presented in homes, churches, county fairs and at our monthly meeting. We want to make our veterans comfortable, and to honor them," said Copeland.

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