Freedom quilts operation still looking for more volunteers
Betty Nielsen's freedom quilts operation has relied heavily on donations over the years. It's taken a lot of time and money to assemble 7,300 quilts.
One group, the St. Mary's basketball team in Storm Lake, felt like helping. Touched by the stories of fallen soldiers, the team wanted to raise money for the project.
The team had won 10 games its previous season, so they asked for donations for each victory.
They doubled their victory total. In the past the team has raised more than $5,000 for the project, and they want to keep those figures high.
"Just feels welcoming and respectful that we just do it for these people, and it's really nice that we have our freshman, that will hopefully help continue this. I've done it for four years, and so it's just real nice to do," said Joe Sandhoff, a senior at St. Mary's High School in Storm Lake
Volunteers have also made a big difference to the operation. Nielsen says volunteers come down every month, sometimes multiple times a week to help put the quilts together.
They've gone through several sewing machines along the way, but the dedicated efforts have come up big. Volunteers say they're just excited to be part of such a great cause.
"Actually seeing the expression on the faces, the parents and the brothers and the sisters, it's just nice to know that we appreciate them, they appreciate us," said Alyson Downing, a freshman volunteer from Buena Vista University.
If you would like to get involved with the project, we've created a link.
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The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic. More >>
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