Grati -Tuesday 30th March 2021

Written by ahq_admin

30 March 2021

HELLO!!!

Happy Tuesday!! A day that has become known for Gratitude! This should be every day, but today we get to read all about others gratitude for what Aussie Hero’s Quilts and Laundry Bags does. It means so much to our troops to know that their sacrifices are appreciated and that is evident by the letters they write to us. It is a privilege to be able to share them with you.

In some of the following letters, we also hear how the families of those deployed also appreciate the fact their loved ones are being acknowledged. 

Sit back and relax for a few moments and enjoy!!!

Catherine…..
….
Good morning Helen.

I’m writing to you to say thank you. 

I was lucky enough to have received an awesome tartan washing bag late last year that you kindly made. At that time I was in Sydney with the Army Reserve assisting the community during the Corona Lockdowns. 

2020 was a challenging year for the country, the horrific bushfires and then coronavirus had tested all of us Aussies in many ways. As a country known for its loyalty to mates and hardy nature, we banded together, dug the heels in and showed that Aussie mongrel in the face of these dangers.

As we were winding down on the bushfire relief effort, my mates and I were alerted to the increasing threat of Coronavirus in the community and offered to help where we could.

Naturally, hygiene practices were paramount in curbing the spread, so along with washing hands constantly, there was also a need to wash uniforms far more often. With this came another challenge, transporting washing between venues without leaving a trail of stray socks undies and shirts behind us haha. 

This is where you came to our rescue. A kind hearted gesture like sewing us some washing bags, made our daily chores a much less frustrating, (and less embarrassing) experience.

Thank you to you and all your friends for everything you do, it’s amazing knowing we have such a phenomenal support network at home.

My Awesome Aussie Washing Bag will be with me wherever my Army career takes me.

I hope you and your family are all safe and well

Yours Sincerely

….

Dear Jan-Maree and friends,
We have just received our first batch of laundry bags..and the crew is very excited and grateful. It took less than a few minutes for the first shipment to be grabbed up by ship’s company, and they are eagerly awaiting the next batch.
Thank you for all you do for us, it is appreciated more than you might realise.
Kindest regards
….

Afternoon Ellen,
I’ve received your quilt and my partner and myself could not be happier. The quilt is used by my partner every time I go out on operation and she is very thankful of your work and was speechless when we saw it. 
I’m currently posted to HMAS Armidale up in the NT conducting operation Resolute. I’ve been in for just shy of 6 years and this is my first interaction with Aussie hero quilts so I can’t thank you enough. My partner and I own a large dog who is our pride and joy and love to take him out and about seeing all the territory has to offer. 
I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and it’s much appreciated. I hope you continue the great work and bring joy with many more quilts to many families through defence. 
….
Dear Chloe,
I am so pleased to say that the quilt arrived today.  On Victoria’s hottest day so far. My husband loved the quilt and was so touched. 
This will be a centre piece of the new bedroom.
Thank you he is very proud.
….
To Bridget (and Aussie hero quilts),
I just wanted to send my heartfelt thanks for the beautiful quilt you made for me. I was so excited when I opened the box and pulled out the quilt and laundry bag. It is currently on my bed over here and has definitely managed to brighten an otherwise gloomy room. Something to remind me of Aus. 
We are all so appreciative of the immense time and effort that goes into these. They are truly special.
Thank you again!
….
Hi Chloe
My husband did receive his quilt, which was a wonderful 
Surprise to him. 
It is absolutely an amazing piece of artistry and captured his career perfectly.
We thank you and your people very much
….
Good Afternoon Lynn,
Thank you so much for the Aussie Hero Quilt you and Wendy made for me. I was totally unaware of this and was very surprised to be considered for it. I have to say that I do not see myself as any sort of hero, just a normal Aussie  privileged with the honour of serving his country through an awesome career that I would do about 90% all over again exactly the same way if given the chance. I was quite humbled by your most generous gesture when I received the package in the mail today. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful family to do what they did to receive this most prestigious gift.
I really enjoyed reading your letter about you, your family and your quilting program. Your sense of humour did not go unnoticed, as it was consistent with our military banter. 
My career in the RAAF spanned almost 42 years. My wife has supported me throughout my career, one which I believe is hers too, given the sacrifices she was forced to make. Our two sons endured many relocations, both within Australia and overseas, but developed a resilience that is rare in young people today. They both remain very close. I expect their close relationship is as a result of our posting turbulence, which forced them to rely upon each other so much. I spent a great deal of their teenage years travelling overseas with work, so my wife did a wonderful job keeping the home fires burning in my absence. I will be eternally grateful to her for her hard work in managing our family in my absence 
I received a very nice letter from the Chief of the Air Force when I retired in 2019. I am quite proud of it. 
Again, thank you very much for the outstanding work you and your fellow quilters are doing for us in ADF service. You have absolutely made my day.
Kind regards
….
Dear Marianne,
Yesterday I received a totally unexpected, pleasant surprise thanks to
you and the ‘Garage Girls’…..Bev, Sheena, Bridget, Gail, Sally, Jenny
and you; and not forgetting Kerri B for the embroidery!
The Quilt is extremely nice, and the superb workmanship was excellent.
I thank each and every one of you for your attitudes and efforts!
Regards to you all, and have a pleasant day.
….
Good afternoon Clarissa,
I received one of the most exquisite Laundry bags on my way to Operation COVID Assist. I was deployed to the further most western point of the NSW and Victorian border. Initially it was for only a few weeks but was extended for a further 3 months.
Halfway through my tour, the Chaplain came and passed around the laundry bags. It gave me a sense of normality and a reminder of home. Although I was on the first operational deployment within Australia, it is always hard to be away from home, especially as I was also deployed the year prior to the middle east for nearly 6 months. For me it is a memory and a reminder of the operations that I attend and the long  hours that have to be worked. When I was in the Middle East, I received the most amazing quilt with Donkeys and poppies as well as a laundry bag. I know we all write to you and thank you for all the work you do but although it is hard to articulate the emotional response that it creates, I want to tell you that everyone who receives a quilt or a laundry bag becomes overwhelmed with emotion. We are overwhelmed by the kindness, thoughtfulness and the time that is put into these beautiful creations. It is so special to be in the laundry, minding your own business and hear grown men come in and jump around with their items and talk about how special they are and ‘no one  else is ever touching this quilt’. I giggle when I hear them say to each other… “ oh maaaan, they have even put my initials or my name on the quilt/bag” or “ Oh they put my favourite colours on there or my footy team etc etc.” We all actively seek out anyone who has just received their quilt or their laundry bag to see the special creation, even if we don’t know the person we say… ‘ show us your quilt/bag’ and they run and get it or carry it with them.
It is a keep sake, something that we will pass onto our children. I have even seen some people have them mounted or put behind glass on their return home. The memories that these bags and quilts hold are priceless and I can even tell you that many of those quilts contain our tears. When we are laying on our beds or stretchers, missing home and having a cry, it is our quilt that we grab to cuddle up to or soothe us.
As mentioned, when I was on OP COVID Assist and they were handing out laundry bags, boy did I need it. My son who is in the Navy, was also on OP COVID Assist but in another area. We both felt extremely proud to be representing the Defence Force in 2 of the services and both helping  the community together. He did not ask or accept a laundry bag as he felt he was just doing his job and they should be for the folks in the Middle East. I disagree somewhat as he was exposing himself to COVID every single day and putting himself in harm’s way. They may not have been bullets but another kind of threat. When I see him next, I will be giving him my laundry bag from my time on OP COVID Assist.
I really enjoyed reading your letter. After hearing about what you do, I have no idea how you have time to also make these beautiful creations. I am not surprised that you are doing this though as I can see by what you do and the occupations of your family members, you are all about giving back to the community.
I am an enthusiastic gardener.  I love anything to do with plants and trees and veggie plots. My husband made his own hydroponics and aquaponics so we can grow more veggies. We have Native bees as well as the European honey bees and just get great delight out of providing honey to all our neighbours.
During COVID, like a lot of people we got a rescue dog. He is a Wolf Hound mix… ohhhh he is the most delightful, fun, gentle boy. He brings me joy every single day. 
Once again, thank you so very much for your precious time that you give to making the quilts and laundry bags. Time, to me is the biggest gift of all as we all have so little of it but you give yours so freely. You also mentioned they are a small token, they are far from small. When I talk to my team about change and what a difference they can make as one person, I remind them of you and all the other folks who are making our quilts and laundry bags and how much joy you have given to so so so many people.
We are extremely blessed in this world to have such giving, kind, selfless people like yourself, your family and all the other volunteers.
Thank you again Clarissa and again, 
 
With the kindest of regards and many thanks
….
Good afternoon,
I would like to thank Aussie Hero Quilts, especially Philomena and Jenny for making my quilt.
Wow, my quilt is amazing and much more than I expected it to be.  I can’t wait to use it now.  My rack is going to look awesome !
I cannot thank you all enough for the hard work you all do. 
Kind regards,
….
Good morning Gayle,
I was the lucky ADF member who had you make my very first Aussie Hero Quilt. Firstly I want to say thank you for the quilt and laundry bag, they were beautifully designed and very well made.
I loved the rocket ship, it fit in very well with the outer space themed bed sheets I brought with me from Australia 🙂 
The covid restrictions for us were a lot different to back home in Australia, the cases over there were much higher and required us to wear masks everywhere with restricted movements outside of camp. But as a whole it did not discourage myself or my peers, morale was high for the majority of my time overseas. One time I recall in particular was Christmas eve, a few of us gathered in an outdoor seating area to watch The Grinch which was our favourite Christmas movie. We all sat around laughing, drinking tea and eating timtams sent over from the many generous groups in Aus, but it was winter at Christmas time so we were all keeping warm under our Aussie Hero Quilts. That memory will stay with me forever and I want to thank you again for your quilt, it will always be special to me.
Hope you’re well and happy.
Kind regards,
….
Good Morning Kerry
Thank you again for the beautiful quilt you made Kerry, for my son in law. He really loved it as did his 6 year old son, so there could be a “battle” as to who gets to keep it! 
I can appreciate Kerry the work that goes into the quilt tops and always love seeing a finished quilt. I could not imagine what the quilt would look like when I requested it, but the finished quilt is just beautiful, so thank you.
I hope you are both safe and dry and have a lovely day.
Thanks again,
….
Hi Veronica,
Thank you very much for the beautiful and very thoughtful Aussie Hero quilt that my Husband has received.  He was very touched.  He especially loved the medical patterns and thought the colours were perfect.
The letters that accompanied the quilt were also very thoughtful and he loved reading about the ladies lives and how they came to make his quilt.  Please pass on both his and my heart felt thanks to those lovely ladies.
It is such a wonderful mission that you all are doing for our military members.  Giving both physical and emotional warmth to such deserving humans.  
Again, thank you to all who were involved in the beautiful creation my Husband received.  We are  both very grateful.  
Fondly,
….
Hi Jo,
I received the quilt you made me recently and just wanted to say a massive
thank you. I felt a great deal of pride opening it and was very humbled to
read your kind words.
Thank you for all you continue to do – it is appreciated by every deployed
member that receives something from Aussie Hero Quilts
Regards
….
Hi Ruth,
Thank you, for taking the time and making such a lovely Laundry bags for me and my fellow crew mates. We are very thankful for the support we get from lovely people like yourself.
Thank you, once again it’s very heart warming to receive a gift like this.
Kind Regards,
….
Hi Lynn (and Jan-Maree),
Well, someone had to pick me up off the floor yesterday when I got into my office and received the most amazing gift – the quilt you so lovingly and skilfully organised and made for me.
I was deeply moved, and my family have been very excited by it, particularly my eldest boy, who has probably endured and appreciated most the cost of my service over the years. I think he wants to claim it for his bed. He’s not getting it 🙂
I have valued Jan-Maree’s friendship over the years, and deeply appreciated the work of Aussie Hero Quilts and the selfless, tireless efforts of each quilter. I have seen the joy that it brings people.
It was extremely humbling to receive your gift, and to hear a little of your own journey.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. And please also pass my thanks to Wendy who I understand had a hand in finishing it off.
Your efforts mean so much to so many of our service women and men. You are angels. And you have made my week… well, so much more than my week, but this week seems a little brighter because of your surprise!
With sincere appreciation,
….

Well, on that note, we wrap another week of Gratitude letters. 
We should all be very proud and humbled by the appreciation our troops feel when they receive a quilt or laundry bag.

Happy Sewing Everyone!!

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