Honoring veterans in the Northeast Michigan area who fought in the Vietnam War, one family decided to come up with a unique way to give back. It started when the White’s purchased shirts for the annual ‘Wings over Alpena’ honoring war veterans.
Not knowing what to do with the leftover shirts, the White’s solution was to reach out to a group of quilters at the Alpena Senior Citizens Center to take on the job of making quilts for those who served.
“Being a veteran myself, and being in the military, it’s great because these vets didn’t have a great welcome home when they came back from their war, it means a lot,” Andy White said.
If you ever tried quilting you know it’s a no joke. Taking on the job with no questions asked, 14 beautiful quilts were made in the process.
“If there’s anything that I can do it’s this, and it’s very rewarding,” Volunteer, Jennie Gilman said.
White said he’s proud of the quilts that were made stitch by stitch over the 8–month period.
“They did an excellent job. I couldn’t have done this. I don’t have the patience for one but they turned out great and just the imagination these ladies had with the ideas that we had and the collaboration they did a great job,” White added.
Thanks to the White’s, one volunteer will be able to give a quilt back to her own loved one.
“He wouldn’t talk much about Vietnam, so when I showed him the quilt he talked about how beautiful it was and so I was just very touched by that. I’m very happy, and it was very generous of them to give one to my brother,” Volunteer, Esther Donald-Briggs said.
Now that the quilts are completed, the White’s will be reaching out to the Veterans Affairs Office, Friends Together in Alpena and others to find Vietnam veterans that made need a little warmth in their life.
So the next time you think about tossing out shirts, maybe saving them for a quilt is the way to go.