‘Twas the last day of finals, and all through the campus, not a buckeye was sleeping, not even a monnnsta, (who sleeps no matter what).
This last day of finals included a hefty 30 page paper due, an exam utilizing a scantron (arguably the most stressful part of my day was filling in those unforgiving circles), as well as scrambling to finish a presentation, and actually presenting it.
Our fantastic marketing prof brought pizza to the 5 pm presentation session since it was going to last at least 4 hours. Now normally, I would have been the first person in line, brought back 2 entire boxes to my seat all for myself, and gone back up for rounds two and three, but to my severe distress, circumstances were not conducive to pizza partying. Public speaking makes my hands sweat and my stomach churn and my hands sweat, and my lungs forget how to breathe, and my hands sweat, etc. Being over-caffeinated only makes matters worse, throw in some twitching and pre-presentation hallucinations of myself faceplanting like Jennifer Lawrence or our prezi not pulling up. How am I supposed to EAT, let alone ENJOY pizza at a time like this?!? Distraught at the idea of declining free pizza, I settled in for a long night of tense presentations in which each group presented to the board of directors for a non profit organization called the Quilts of Valor Foundation. We slaved over this project for 3 months creating a marketing plan to “fix” their org. which was/is in dire need of a boost. Initially I was skeptical- & that’s putting it politely. I was not at all enthusiastic about the company we got, because quilts? How very geriatric. Groups in previous semesters got to work with sports companies and food organizations and other slightly more glamorous entities.
Alas, we delved into the project, and over time, I found myself not at all opposed to working on a plan for the QOV foundation. The feedback we got from our veterans was probably the turning point. The quilts mean something big to the often under-appreciated veterans who receive them. Not only are these quilts a way of communicating our gratitude to our vets, but they are also a source of comfort when grief and distress seem unbearable. Wrapping our vets in a handmade quilt is a way for those of us who can’t give our hugs in person to share our embrace with those who deserve it most.
I don’t care about quilts per se, and probably never will. I do care that our society has forgotten the heroes who have served our country. To me, a quilt seems like such a simple way to say thank you. Yet, each veteran I spoke with was incredibly fond of their quilt, their gratitude was beyond words. Several people admitted that their quilt of valor was the only recognition they’ve received for their service, and they treasure it.
To put it in perspective, it costs $300 to make one quilt of valor. QOV has awarded over 94,000 quilts since in their ten years of work. It’s incredible and exciting, yet they have a long way to go- their goal is to cover each & every combat veteran with a quilt of valor.
I’ve been completely focused on QOV for the past 14 weeks, & I want people to know about them. I think it is an overlooked but important cause. I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with such a unique non-profit organization. You should check them out.