on March 26, 2013 at 3:47 PM, updated March 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM
For more than seven years, volunteers have gathered from 7 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3452 to sew quilts, ditty bags, neck pillows, slippers and more for soldiers at the Portland VA Medical Center.
Program volunteer Phyllis Houston, the VFW department representative to the VA Hospital, said the program was started by the late Jo Conover. Houston and fellow volunteers Delores Abernathy and Nona Verloo are currently making quilts.
Fabric donations are appreciated and flannel sheets, old comforters and quilt batting are very helpful. They do not use jersey fabric or double knit polyester because those fabrics stretch too much. For information on how to donate, contact Houston at 503-649-2389.
On Wednesdays, Houston takes the handmade items to the Portland VA Medical Center and delivers them to grateful soldiers.
“I get to give them right to the patients, and I see how much they appreciate this,” Houston said. “There’s lots of different things people can help with. We take donations of fabric, travel-size personal items, toothbrushes, tooth paste and Campbell’s soup labels.”
In addition to the Sewing for Vets program, Post 3452 has both a Ladies and Men’s Auxiliary and a deployed family members support group.
On Saturdays, the post serves brunch from 10 a.m. to noon, and the cost is by donation. Every Memorial Day, the post leads Memorial Day ceremonies at the flag pole in the Winona Cemetery. The post meets at Cpl. Matthew R. Lembke Hall, 18820 S.W. Boones Ferry Road.