On August 12, twenty quilts donated by the Eden Sewing Center's customers and volunteers will be sent to wounded troops in Maryland.
EDEN, N.Y.- It was a donation that took American Legion Rider Sam Reeder by surprise: 20 handmade quilts, intended to be sent south to Bethesda Naval Hospital next week.
"I was stunned," said Reeder, Director of the Niagara Region American Legion Riders based in Wheatfield. "We expected a few quilts, we never expected twenty. This is phenomenal, and we know how much work goes into this."
If you ask just how much work customers and volunteers organized by the Eden Creative Sewing Center put in to their quilted creations -- it's hard to say:
"Oh good heavens! I don't even know," said the center's owner, Carolynn Schaefer. "I just know the girls were here for two weeks daily, as long as we were open, working on them."
Assistant Manager Scott Schaefer organized the effort beginning a few months ago. In the past two to three weeks he says volunteers assembled them.
"The time and the people is what it takes," said Scott Schaefer.
Each customer was asked to donate a block that would later pieced together.
"Those we call scrappy quilts," said Caroylnn Schaefer of the quilts. "When you're first putting them together, you think, oh, these are never going to work, how are we going to make these go together, but it's amazing."
On August 12th, the scrappies, as well as some planned quilts that are created entirely by one volunteer will be loaded up and carried south, escorted by Western New York's American Legion Riders as well as representatives of the Buffalo Jills. It's part of a larger effort involving a number of groups and donations.
"I wish I could be there, I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see them receiving the quilts," said Carolynn Schaefer. "I'm sure so many of them feel like they've been forgotten, they don't have family around to say thank you, so I'm sure it's very moving to them to know that there are people that care. And that's what this is about, Caring for each other."