It started with a phone call and one quilt. Catherine Roberts wanted to donate a quilt to a wounded soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. ELCA chaplain John L. Kallerson knew a soldier who was going through a difficult time and said “yes.”
Roberts spread the word among fellow quilters and more followed. Now every inpatient and outpatient at Walter Reed has the opportunity to receive a quilt. Kallerson distributed more than 3,000 last year.
Through Roberts’ Quilts of Valor Foundation
blankets are sent to military and Veterans Affairs
’ hospitals nationwide.
Kallerson said quilts are “a great door-opener when you have people who aren’t really sure what to talk about.” The quilts also brighten what can be sterile rooms, he said, adding, “It’s very comforting for families that people out there think enough about their sons and daughters to spend this much time making something and then giving it away.”
Kallerson blesses the quilts by praying for those who made them and their families, for the staff of Walter Reed
, and for the patients and their families. Finally he prays for peace. “I just pray that our young men and women will serve what our country needs and that eventually there will be a time that I—or whomever is here after me—won’t have to give quilts to young injured soldiers,” he said.