Saturday, February 12, 2011

Emily's Example of Dedicated Service

Operation Kid Comfort is fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers. Each is committed to the our 'OpKids', and our mission to serve the children of those who serve America, by generously creating free photo-transfer comfort quilts and pillows as they await a parent's return from service overseas.

Now and then, we like to highlight an extra special volunteer. Today, we honor Emily Newton.

Growing up in a military family, Emily knows first-hand the difficulties facing 'America's Littlest Heroes', the children of our deployed service men and women. Along with her siblings Katie, Mary, and John, she has withstood the many separations from her father with grace and dignity. Through Operation Kid Comfort, Emily has served other children from her community, helping them cope with deployments in their families.

Emily began volunteering for Operation Kid Comfort in 2003 when she was just ten years old. With a keen eye for matching colors and patterns, Emily enjoyed sorting donated fabric for our quilt kits. She quickly became adept at processing incoming and outgoing requests and then the tasks of scanning, editing and printing images on fabric to include in the quilts. Before we knew it, Emily was an expert quilter, constructing beautiful quilts for other children in the Fort Bragg community.

Imagine our surprise, and pride, to see Emily at fourteen years old, organizing quilting events and instructing adult volunteers on the many tasks of Operation Kid Comfort. This is why in 2008 Emily was awarded with our Armed Services YMCA Teen Volunteer of the Year. Simply put: Emily is amazing!

This year, Emily will graduate from high school as class President! As she makes plans for what promises to be a bright future, all of us at Operation Kid Comfort wish her well in her journey. Truly a shining star, we are confident that Emily will succeed in whatever she puts her mind to.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tis' the season of generosity!

Last week, Operation Kid Comfort received two amazing and much-needed donations. As long time members of the Operation Kid Comfort family, we are especially grateful to both Clothworks and Megamat for helping us fulfill our mission To Support the Children of Those Who Support America. We are sure you will be equally impressed with their assistance and products.

Remember that first box of 'colors' you used in kindergarten. Red and orange, green and blue, shiny yellow, purple too . . . Do you long for those bright true colors in your quilts? Well, Kathy York's Urban Landscapes from Clothworks will color your world!

Kathy's colorful fun quilts have thrilled many for some time now. Imagine our joy to hear she has her own line of fabrics loaded with bright colors, fun shapes and patterns! Perfect for our OpKids, we couldn't wait to include these wonderful fabrics in our quilts, and Clothworks sent us six bolts to 'play' with. Our volunteers are working with them now, so check back to see Operation Kid Comfort quilts created from Kathy York's Urban Landscapes.

What is the best mat to cut those fabrics on? A huge 32” X 53” Quilters Rule Megamat, of course!

Back in 2003, Megamat donated Quilters Rule mats and quilting tools to help us launch Operation Kid Comfort. These thick and easy to read mats have stood up to a lot of use from a variety of quilters, novice to experienced. But as you can imagine, with hundreds of volunteers making thousands of quilts, for all these years, we are well past time for replacements. Megamat came to our rescue again with two large mats. If we could get seven years out of our past mats, imagine how long they would last in the home quilting studio?


And this week, we were happily surprised to see Operation Kid Comfort the subject of Jerry’s Artarama blog: The Splatter. Blog writer Theresa Brown of Art Marketing Experts provided a wonderful article about Operation Kid Comfort and its history. Thank you both for highlighting our efforts to your audience.

We thank Clothworks, Megamat and Jerry's Artorama for remembering and honoring our very brave military families. Join us and all the supporters of Operation Kid Comfort in remembering our troops overseas, especially during this holiday season when the separation of parent and child can be especially difficult.

There is no better way to support our troops than to care for their families while they are away.

To donate to Operation Kid Comfort or any of the very special programs of the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Bragg via PayPal, please visit: www.braggasymca.org or send your donation to:

Armed Services YMCA of Fort Bragg
208 Thorncliff Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28303

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Ann Flaherty
Founder, Operation Kid Comfort

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank You HP

It has been seven years since we first launched Operation Kid Comfort at Fort Bragg. An ongoing program of appreciation to our military families, Operation Kid Comfort quilts and pillows continue to be free of charge to America's Littlest Heroes, the children of our deployed service men and women.

Over the years, we've filled thousands of requests for our quilts. With nine photographs printed on fabric incorporated into each quilt, reliable printers are a must for this operation. Additionally, the process is costly.

From day one, Operation Kid Comfort has received the support of Hewlett-Packard Company. Last week, our friends at HP delivered a new HP Photosmart e-All in one Series D110 printer along with replacement ink cartridges to our workshop. In a word --- phenomenal!

Just right for the desktop, our volunteers find this printer the perfect tool to scan and print images for Operation Kid Comfort quilts and pillows. Fabric sheets print with ease and clarity.

All of us at Operation Kid Comfort and the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Bragg are grateful for the continuous support of HP. As we strive to Serve the Children of Those Who Serve America, and take comfort in knowing we can count on the many volunteers, contributors and corporations such as HP to assist us in that mission.

On behalf of the thousands of children we serve: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

Sincerely,

Ann Flaherty

Founder, Operation Kid Comfort

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 29, 2010

We Couldn't Do It Without You!

Operation Kid Comfort is grateful to the many volunteers and supporters who we rely on to meet the needs of thousands of children. Industry donations are especially important to that success. Highlighted here are two recent donations from Simplicity and Aurifil that our volunteers are raving about.

Simplicity donated not one, but TWO Deluxe Rotary Cutter and Embossing Machines to assist us in cutting the many strips necessary for Operation Kid Comfort Quilts and Pillows. Very easy to use and adjustable to the size needed, in our case 4 1/2”, our volunteers can zip through this task without wearing out shoulders, elbows and wrists. I know this machine will make a big difference for me and my carpal tunnel.

Another great company that is creating smiles for our volunteers and 'OpKids' is Aurifil thread company. Aurifil's donation of assorted threads are enhancing Operation Kid Comfort quilts and pillows with bright and beautiful colors. Our volunteers love the ease of these threads in any machine. The variegated add a bit of cheer to our quilts.

All of us at the Operation Kid Comfort welcome Simplicity and Aurifil to our family. We ask you to remember their commitment to America's Littlest Heroes, the children of our deployed service men and women, when making your quilting purchases.


Thank you all who donate to Operation Kid Comfort. We couldn't do it without you! If you haven't donated in the past, please consider becoming part of Operation Kid Comfort's mission to Serve the Children of Those Who Serve America by donating materials, cash and time.

With heart felt appreciation,

Ann Flaherty

Founder, Operation Kid Comfort

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Obama Visits Operation Kid Comfort

Thank you Mr. President!

On behalf of the hundreds of volunteers who make Operation Kid Comfort a success, we appreciate your visit to the ASYMCA Washington, D.C. event in honor of the September 11th National Day of Service.


Across the country, Operation Kid Comfort volunteers create individual photo-transfer quilts and pillows for America's Littlest Heroes, the children of our deployed service men and women. Founded on Make A Difference Day, 2003, more than 7,000 children have been recipients of these very special gifts. And...wow...have we mad
e a difference!

Our 'OpKids' all delight in having a tangible, huggable and washable set of photos to curl up with while their parents are overseas. Our parents are grateful that they will not be forgotten during long deployments. And our volunteers relish the opportunity to support our troops in such a personal and meaningful way.

Thank you President Obama for recognizing this very special program. The many people of Operation Kid Comfort appreciate your visit.

Sincerely,

Ann Flaherty

Founder, Operation Kid Comfort

Comfort! Create! Unite!

Operation Kid Comfort is a FREE program of the Armed Services YMCA that provides photo-transfer quilts and pillows to children of our deployed service men and women. We rely on our supporters and volunteers for continued success. Please contact us at operationkidcomfort@gmail.com for further information.

Please DONATE to help with Operation Kid Comfort.

Photos are courtesy of Greater DC Cares



Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, November 06, 2009

God Bless America Quilts Support Operation Kid Comfort

In celebration of Veteran's Day and to honor the many military families of the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg area, The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) and the Fayetteville Downtown Alliance, will host part of the God Bless America Quilt Tour from November 7 -14, 2009. The event will be held in conjunction with the Veteran's Day Parade on November 7th at the offices of the Downtown Alliance, and the ASYMCA office on Fort Bragg. A total of thirty patriotic quilts from across the USA will be displayed between the two venues.

Available at the exhibits, will be the book Thanking Our Troops: God Bless America Touring Quilts, that include a gallery of patriotic quilts, essays on the many quilt programs that support our military, and instructions to make some of the quilts included in the book. All proceeds will support Operation Kid Comfort, the ASYMCA program that provides free photo-transfer quilts to America's Littlest Heroes, the children of our deployed service members. The book can also be ordered through the ASYMCA website at: http://braggasymca.org/shop/index.htm.

During the Veteran's Day festivities on November 7th, ASYMCA volunteers will be manning the display at the Downtown Alliance from 10 am until 2 pm, demonstrating how the Operation Kid Comfort quilts are made.

With 45 children from Fort Bragg currently waiting for quilts, and more orders arriving daily as deployments increase, Operation Kid Comfort is in need of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, we will have kits with all the necessary components ready to sew at the event, or you may sign up for our free workshops.

Additionally, we will have information on how a child you know can receive a FREE quilt or pillow from Operation Kid Comfort. Quilts are provided to children five and under; pillows are provided to children 6 – 12 years.

As deployments increase, so does demand for the many services that the ASYMCA provides. As you visit the quilts of the the God Bless America Quilt Tour, please take a few moments to learn more about our services and how you can participate. We look forward to seeing you.

Hours of Operation:

Downtown Alliance

222 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC

910-222-3382

www.fayettevillealliance.com

Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

November 7, 2009/Veteran's Day Parade: 10 am – 2 pm


ASYMCA of Fort Bragg/Pope AFB

Bldg. 2-2411 Jackson St.​

Ft. Bragg, NC

910-436-0500

www.braggasymca.org

Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Support the Arts AND Operation Kid Comfort!!

Comfort! Create! Unite!

with

ARTQUILTStransitions

and the

Fayetteville Museum of Art.

Please take this opportunity to support Operation Kid Comfort while enjoying a fine art exhibit comprised of fine art quilts from some of the most talented artists in the field. Fayetteville Museum of Art of Fayetteville, NC will host ARTQUILTStransitions, the seventh annual juried exhibit of the Professional Art Quilters Alliance - South, from September 12 through November 1, 2009, with the Premiere Party on September 11, 2009 from 6-8 pm.

In lieu of the $5 entry free, and to honor the spirit of September 11th, America's National Day of Service, please bring a donation of materials to support Operation Kid Comfort.

Operation Kid Comfort, a free program of the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Bragg/Pope AFB, provides free photo-transfer comfort quilts and pillows to America's Littlest Heroes, the children of our deployed service men and women, as well as an opportunity for the community to unite in support of our military overseas.

Below is a list of suggested materials for donation to Operation Kid Comfort:

1 yard of 100% cotton fabric suitable for children's quilts
1 yard of 100% natural cotton batting
Colorful threads
1 yard 100% cotton bleached muslin
card stock for tags and cards
envelopes
postage to priority shipping of kits to volunteer quilters
Bubble Jet Set solution for HP printers
Freezer paper
HP 564 inkjet cartridges Rotary cutter and/or blades

Operation Kid Comfort is a program of the Armed Services YMCA or Fort Bragg/Pope AFB

www.braggasymca.org 910-436-0500

Labels: ,