When 10 homeless veterans step inside their new apartments Wednesday, a handmade quilt and all of the essentials for their kitchens and bathrooms will be waiting for each of them, thanks to a quilting group from Wake Forest.
The veterans are moving into a new subsidized apartment complex in East Raleigh run by CASA, an affordable housing nonprofit .
They’ll finally have a place to call home, but with few of the things needed to set up house.
Enter the Ladies of Valor, a Wake Forest-based group that makes quilts for service members and veterans.
When they learned the apartments were opening, they knew immediately they could make quilts.
But they wanted to do even more. They started asking for donations, and with help from Boy Scout Troop 321 and the local Home Depot, were able to gather everything from dish soap and towels to hammers and mops.
Martha Killian, the coordinator of the group, said making the quilts is a way to recognize and appreciate the veterans’ service. They wanted to go beyond that though for a group that needed some extra help.
Debra King, chief executive officer of CASA, said that all of the donations will make a difference – but especially the quilts.
“The idea that someone sat down and made something for you that recognizes and honors your contribution, that’s what makes it so special,” she said.
The veterans who move into the apartments will pay 30 percent of their income toward rent and utilities.
As long as they remain in good standing, the veterans can live in the apartments for as long as they like.
A second phase of the project is planned for behind the complex on Sunnybrook Road.
Quilts of Valor
In 2011, Killian started the Ladies of Valor group, which supports the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Since then, the group has made about 40 quilts, which they typically present at individual or group ceremonies.
Some of the members of the group are veterans’ wives, but all have a sense of wanting to give back , Killian said.
“It’s a big thank-you to all the veterans,” she said.