Quilts for Serving Members Provide Comfort

Mrs Jan-Maree Ball presents an Aussie Hero Quilt to Air Commodore Michael Kitcher.
Mrs Jan-Maree Ball presents an Aussie Hero Quilt to Air Commodore Michael Kitcher.

 

ANZAC Day is not the only time fellow Australians support and recognise the men and women serving in the Army, Navy, and Airforce.

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Quilters all over the nation regularly sew quilts—for no charge and frequently for no recognition either—for men and women serving in the Australian Defence Forces.

Aussie Hero Quilts is an organisation run by Mrs Jan-Maree Ball OAM.

Established in 2012, she organises quilts for Defence members, usually those on deployment, as a comfort and thank you to those serving.
Last week, Mrs Ball made a visit to the RAAF Base Williamtown to present a quilt to Air Commodore Michael Kitcher.

He recently returned to the Base after serving as Commander of the Air Task Group in the Middle East.

Mrs Ball told News Of The Area, “I had arranged a quilt for him but had not been able to organise to get it to him whilst he was deployed.”

“Given I was in the area, I took the opportunity to present the quilt to him in person.”

“He was surprised but also delighted with the quilt made by one of our volunteers, Lynn, and quilted by another volunteer, Bridget.”

The idea of making personalised quilts for serving men and women came about because Mrs Ball wanted to do something to support the troops and to make sure they felt supported, something she feels has not always happened in Australia’s history.

So far this year, Aussie Hero Quilts have sent 1108 quilts to serving members, a total of 7751 quilts since it started in 2012.

Not a mean feat for an organisation run and staffed entirely by volunteers.

Aussie Hero Quilts also makes laundry bags for serving members.

When asked why, Mrs Ball said, “They are issued with white, blue, or green laundry bags and the only way to tell one from the other is by hand written initials in black marker pen.”

“Apparently bags go missing a lot as people collect the wrong bag in error.”

The laundry bags made by the volunteers are all different, thereby making identification easier.

More information about this organisation can be found at: aussieheroquilts.blogspot.com.au.

 

By Heather SHARP

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