LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A group of local volunteer quilters are dedicating their hours to bring comfort to veterans by stitching together a little therapy.
Most Thursdays, Barbara Winkler and a team of volunteers gather in Long Beach to help make quilts for service members and veterans.
"It's a year-round project because we have a lot of veterans that have not been thanked for their service yet," Winkler said. She is the chairman of Southern California Quilts of Valor - a nonprofit foundation. Its mission is to give comfort to service members and vets who have been physically or psychologically wounded.
Each quilt is hand-sewn and designed specifically for each recipient. The local chapter that Winkler heads has made more than 4,000 quilts so far, and the requests keep pouring in.
"We get referrals from the VA and from At Ease Ministry, and of course, one person gets a quilt and shows it to their friend and he goes 'Well, I'm a veteran - how do I get one?' So word of mouth gets a lot of requests," Winkler said.
After hearing that Army National Guard veteran Frank Keenan loved the color purple, the group presented him with a quilt that had a purple background.
"It's a splendid gift - it's really, really nice. That's a lot of love behind it," Kennan said as he cradled his quilt.
Winkler said the quilts are all made with love, and wraps them around each recipient so they can feel it.
Other quilts have seals that reflect a specific branch of service. Winkler said they try to personalize them if possible. The group is always looking for volunteers to help cut, sew or press fabric.
If you have any questions, want to inquire about a quilt for a veteran or donate fabric, please contact Barbara Winkler at (562) 925-7673 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SoCal volunteers bring comfort to veterans with customized quilts