MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The machines whirr and whiz as they stitch with pride what will eventually be Quilts of Valor.
"To me it's an honor to do this for them."
Ann Marie Woodruff is one of five ladies who meet twice a month at Christ the King Church to put together the toppers for Quilts of Valor. The Navy veteran and her family have decades of military service.
"Most of my family has been in the military."
Woodruff knew about Quilts of Valor but didn't know how to get involved.
"One morning I was watching Live at 9 on Channel 3 and Sharron was talking about Quilts of Valor so I said, 'Oh okay, this is my chance."
Sharron Bearly has been working with Quilts of Valor for four years. The organization gives quilts to any veteran who wants one. Bearly got involved to reach out to Vietnam era vets.
"The veterans of Vietnam were treated like... very poorly when they returned. They were not welcomed back at all."
Bearly didn't serve in Vietnam but she was in the Army Nurse Corps for seven years.
"If I would go to the grocery store in uniform I would get spit on."
The Memphis outpost of Quilts of Valor has presented 30 quilts to Memphis veterans and five so far this year.
"The woman who started it started it because of a relative of hers needed hugs and so she made him quilt. It really helped him."
Each quilt is unique. The designs are chosen by the sewer and each piece chosen and placed with care and precision. The personalized work adds to the moment when a quilt is presented.
"We used to work together to make a quilt but now what we do is each of us work on our own and we go to present them. The person who made the quilt presents it because it means more to them that way."
In 10 years, Quilts of Valor has presented 170,000 quilts to veterans across the country. A token of appreciation for those who have given so much.
For more information on how you can help, click here.