COPY-Freedom Quilts mends more hearts - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

COPY-Freedom Quilts mends more hearts

FONDA, Iowa (KTIV) -- You've heard her story. Betty Nielsen a women who has for nearly 10 years made it her job to give. She's made quilts, for those who lost a loved one on 9/11 or in the wars that followed. And Saturday she added four more families to the thousands she's helped.

On September, 11th 2001 Betty Nielsen had a realization. "I did get on my hands and knees and pray and I think it's the higher power that gave me the strength," said Nielsen.

The strength to give back, by making quilts for those who needed comfort after losing a loved one. "I have got to give back to these families it's what my heart say," said Nielsen.

And she has. Through her group Freedom Quilts she's made well over 6,000 quilts for families of 9/11victims or fallen soldiers.

Saturday she added four more to the list. The Ielpis who lost their son, brother and New York fire fighter on 9/11. The Fehrs who's daughter and airman was killed by a drunk driver, and the Russells and Milledges who lost sons in combat.

"I didn't think anyone did anything like this so it was pretty cool to see," said Brandie Joy who lost her brother Josh in combat.

"This is, this is wonderful," said Sandy Fehr who lost her daughter Alc to a drunk driver.

Each quilt was hand made and chronicled the life of the fallen they're made for. Pictures from childhood were used, quotes, and memories...

And the reactions as they were unveiled... were breathtaking.

"I couldn't even imagine it was going to be like this," said Carla Milledge who lost her son Joseph in combat.

"Pride and happiness and sorrow and everything," said Melissa Brengel, who lost her brother on 9/11.

It's that appreciation that will keep Betty Nielsen going as long as she can.

"With the list that I am getting it's just going to keep on going," said Nielsen.

Betty says she isn't the only one who works on those quilts. She says she could never do it without the help of her husband and group of volunteers.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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