10/30/2012 5:00:00 PM Palo Verde Valley Quilt Guild donates to troops in Afghanistan
Photo special to the Times
Betty Hastings (pictured, left) and Glen Baker admire a quilted comforter sewn by Palo Verde Valley Quilt Guild members.
Special to the Times
BLYTHE - Army Sgt. Rhonda Simmons, serving in Afghanistan, is a soldier on a mission to sew as many quilt blocks as possible for assembly into full-sized quilts. Simmons is the niece of longtime Blythe resident, Cleatus Wilson.
The Palo Verde Valley Quilt Guild, mentored by Camille Brown, has joined in the project by donating fabric and materials for Simmon's crew as well as sewing blocks on their own.
Before deploying with the National Guard to Afghanistan, Simmons attended a quilt show in Salt Lake City, Utah where the Quilts of Valor Foundation had their work on display. The Quilts of Valor are given to combat service members and veterans in appreciation of their sacrifices.
The quilt blocks sewn by Simmons and her fellow soldiers are sent to a lady in Oklahoma who assembles the final quilts and then ships them to the Foundation for distribution to service members. The most frequent comment from quilt recipients is, "We didn't know anyone cared."
Simmons has 150 in her Army unit and is teaching both male and female soldiers to sew the blocks. She reports that the troops enjoy the project as it brings memories of home into a war zone.