Submitted by: Jane Guthrie
The Canadian Comfort and Remembrance Project (CCRP) was born Jan. 17, 2006 when I heard the news of the death of Canadian diplomat Glyn Berry, who was killed that morning in Afganistan.
In the CCRP I invite Canadians to make blocks and quilts to be given to spouses and mothers of fallen Canadian soldiers. I wanted to give ordinary Canadians a tangible way in which to let the families of our fallen soldiers know that we care that they are hurting, and to let them know that we support them in their journey of sorrow. The "Maple Heart" block was designed by Jennifer Hodge, of Picket Fence Fabrics. I ask the block maker to write their name, home town and words of comfort in the centre heart of their block.
In March, 2006 I met with Lt. Col. Blais, of the Directorate of Casualty Support (DCSA) in the Department of National Defense (DND) and his staff. The military adopted the CCRP. In order to maintain the confidentiality of military families, we are not given the names, addresses or any personal information about the families of fallen soldiers. DCSA sends an invitation to the spouse and the mother of each fallen soldier, offering them a CCRP quilt, or a quilted wall hanging from "Operation Peace & Comfort" of Innisfail, Alberta (Email). A picture of each is sent to the potential recipients with the invitation letter, to help them see a sample of what their choices are.
By November, 2006, we sent 22 CCRP quilts to DCSA, who delivered them to recipients, many for presentation at local Remembrance Day ceremonies. In April, 2007 we sent another 14 quilts. By the end of October we sent 45 quilts for 2007. There were two others which were presented locally where they were made, and did not pass through our hands, even though they were definitely part of the CCRP. So the CCRP total as of 11 November, 2007 was 48 quilts. .
We have received several letters of appreciation from grateful recipients who are deeply touched by the care and efforts of those who have reached out to embrace them through the CCRP. I continue to receive blocks and quilts regularly. As of May, 2008 I have 35 quilts on hand, a request for 7 to be sent out, and several more quilts in progress for this fall. I am amazed, humbled and honoured to see how many Canadians have taken this project to heart and are working so hard to send comfort and care to the families of our fallen soldiers. As long as Canadian soldiers are falling, their family members are grieving, and quilters are willing to help, we will reach out with care and comfort to fellow Canadians in their time of need by continuing the CCRP.
I want to thank those whose efforts have helped make this project possible: Capt. Geri Bush and Louise Rochette of DCSA, Lolly Chalice, our web-mistress, Veterans Affairs – Canada, Trend-Tex Fabrics, the Mallorytown Legion, Jennifer and Jonathan Hodge and many groups and friends across this land who have made quilts and blocks and donated funds and material.
It is ordinary Canadians who are making this project happen. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your generous out pouring of support for the families our fallen Canadian soldiers.
Silver Cross 2006 Quilt
Mrs. Alice Murphy, of Conception Bay, Newfoundland was selected by the Royal Canadian Legion as the Silver Cross Mother for 2006. The Silver Cross Mother is chosen annually to represent all Canadian mothers who have lost a son or daughter in military service. When Mrs. Murphy requested a CCRP quilt, we wanted a way for her quilt to be unique and to acknowledge this great honour.
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This post was published on July 18th, 2008. Post topics: Charity Quilting.