Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Grati-Tuesday 25 March


G'day all. 

Started my day with a trip to the post off to send a bunch of parcels on their way and am planning some serious sewing for the rest of the day - fingers crossed!  :-)

Last year I used to send quilts to a Combat Engineer who would pass them on to others who could not or would not submit requests themselves.  Most of those quilts we do not hear back from for a number of quite valid reason, security being one of them, so I was delighted to receive this message out of the blue this week.



Dear Jan-Maree,

I wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you and your organisation for the beautiful quilts and laundry bags that were sent over to us in Afghanistan late last year. I was on my third tour of Afghanistan when I got your quilt and bag, and it brightened my tour considerably. Its always nice to receive something from home, and to be sent such a lovely gift by people you have never even met before is even more touching.

My quilt and laundry bag are still regularly used - I have no intention of parting with them!

Thanks again for your efforts and thoughts.

Best regards, 


and Joan and Robin also received a thank you for the laundry bag they sent to the same recipient.

Dear Joan and Robin,


My apologies for the belated email, but I just wanted to drop you a line to give you a big thankyou for the Aussie Heroes Quilts and Laundry bags that you and others sent over to us while we were serving in Afghanistan.

I was on my third tour to Afghanistan when I received a quilt and laundry bag, and it was completely touching to get such a lovely gift from home. Add to this the fact that I was using a garbage bag to take my clothes to the laundry previously, getting a bright, new, home-made laundry bag was an absolute God-send! (And you can tell which bag is yours as soon as you walk into the laundry - no more misplaced, mixed-up laundry bags!) I was blown away by the detail and effort that had been put into them - what a credit you are to your craft!

Thanks again for your thoughts and for looking after us - your kindness, wishes and efforts are greatly appreciated.

Best regards, 

Far from needing to apologise for the delay in contacting us to say thank you, I think that the fact that even months later someone will sit down and write a thank you message is, to my way of thinking, another example of how much what we are doing means to those who receive.  
.....



Another nice message arrived in my Inbox and this time from the chaplain on HMAS Darwin.  In an email on a different subject he passed back some feedback on the effect receiving a quilt and laundry bag from Pennie had on one of the crew.



I also was spoken to today by XXXXX who got her quilt, laundry bag in the mail!  She was speechless, so overwhelmed with what she received.  She showed me the photos on her phone.  You should have seen how happy she was - it was wonderful. 

.....

And while we are talking about HMAS Darwin, I received a stack of great photos from the photographer on board which I will be sharing on Thursday night but here is a taster for you.  There has to be a few compensations for spending all that time at sea in cramped quarters and this certainly has to be one of them.  Apparently scenes like this are quite common.  To think people pay money to see things like this!


I think this batch of thank you messages contains some really special ones so enjoy!

.....


Jan,
I was sent a Quilt, laundry bag and Beanie From Pennie. They are absolutely beautiful and I love them all so much. I am in the process of getting a letter together and some pics and to send back to them. 
Thanks so much, It made me the happiest girl in the world and I still have the biggest grin on my face from the delivery. What you do is so amazing and I really appreciate it and so does the crew. It is also another great talking point....

Thanks again

.....


Dear Sue A and Jan-Maree,

 
Yesterday I received my beautifully made Quilt cover and washing bag from Sue A and family (thanks Sue). I sent a photo straight back to my wife who immediately appreciated the quality and time that has gone into making these gifts. I can't tell you how much it means to have someone likes yourselves think of us enough to make us such a wonderful gift.  It goes far beyond the gift but to the patriotism that is sometimes found wanting in this new society of ours. It is greatly appreciated. 



You personally need congratulations for what you do, as does your organisation.



For my gift, thank you so much. I will sleep under it soundly and proudly use my washing bag and will always reflect on your gift as gifts from a grateful nation.



Kind Regards


.....



Hi Jan-Maree


Just received quilt - it is magnificent!! At the moment, have it on my bed, but almost too good for that. Didn't realise that it took so many people, so please thank Del, Belinda and Lynn very much for me. I have been in Afghanistan the last couple of weeks (cold and miserable), so was lovely to get back here and find such a lovely quilt waiting. 



Kind regards
.....



Hi Gale and Jenny,


I just wanted to thank you and let you know I received the quilt you made.  Wow, It's fantastic! Thank you both so much for all the time and effort you've gone to. It's so amazing. I had no idea what to expect. The lady here asked me to write down things I loved and the only thing that came to mind (apart from my family) was 'Australia'!



It's such a great thing that you're doing and it makes a huge difference to the deployed service men and women over here.  You're the talk of the town in Kandahar.



I was over here a few years ago on a combat deployment in Uruzgan Province with the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment but now I'm here as part of a huge American-led headquarters so it's quite different this time.  It's never easy being away from home. I got married about three weeks before I left to come over here.  Now my wife and I are expecting a baby so I'll get to meet him/her soon after I get home! I certainly think the quilt will get plenty of use after I get home. 



Again, thank you so much. I opened the Tim-Tams and they lasted all of about 10 seconds around the Americans. They were a huge hit.



Gale, I know the Army Transport Corps motto is 'equal to the task', but I think you've done even better than that with the quilt.



Jenny, I'm sure you're a very proud Mum. I hope he/she comes home safely with plenty of great experiences from the deployment.


Thanks again for your time, effort, and support


.....


HI Stephanie D,


I recently received my laundry bag that you very generously made for me.   It is fantastic thank you so much for for giving up your time to make such an awesome gift for me while on deployment.  I am now the envy of all my mates with the great design that you made, and now they all want one too !   Thanks also for putting my initials on the bag, at least I know it wont be stolen, that's how popular the Marvel comics design is - its great. Thanks so much again for the gift, its a great morale boost and such a great initiative that you all contribute to!



Regards, 

.....


Hello Hilary, 


I have received your Aussie Hero Quilt. Thank you so much for your kind words and the time you have put in, in making the quilt. Appreciate everything Aussie Hero Quilts provides for the defence force. The work you do truly makes a difference for personnel deployed. 



I thank you again


Regards,



.....



Dear Annette,


I just received your Aussie hero quilt. And firstly I would just like to say a huge thank you. I have never had somebody make me a quilt ever, so thank you so much. I am honoured that  you  would  spend time and money making something so beautiful for somebody  you don't even know. 



I'm not much of a sewer myself. I know enough to sew my buttons back onto my uniform and a few patches here and there. 



I have been told about the work that Aussie Hero Quilts do, and from myself and others who receive your amazing quilts, I would once again like to say thank you very much.



Kind Regards

......



Dear Karen Bet and the team of Aussie Hero Quilts, 



I would like to say a HUGE thank you for the Quilt, Laundry bag and the lots of yummy snacks you sent me :D



Words cannot describe how happy and excited  I was to receive these gifts (they are the first things I have received since being on deployment).  I absolutely LOVE my Quilt! It is perfect! Thank you so so much. The laundry bag is amazing too! I really love the Aussie flag and my initials on it.  Thank you all so much for the wonderful work you are doing. I know all my friends who have received laundry bags and quilts are so grateful and by having these sent to us is like having a piece of home sent to us :) 



Thank you once again.



Kind Regards,
.....


Linda created an awesome surf themed quilt for her recipient and I received a very happy response in a facebook message.



It came it came it came.   Its absolutely beautiful.  The seagulls made my day!  It suits me so so well.  I'm way too scared to use it though haha.  I can't thank you guys all enough for the effort you put into making these quilts.  I'll treasure and look after mine for years to come.  I just think its so awesome.  Couldn't wipe the smile off my face all day because of it.  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart xxx

.....

Hi Pennie,

Thank you so much for your lovely gift.  I think it is a great initiative and service you provide.  Your choice or fabric was perfectly suited to myself as I do love to travel.  
I wish you and your family all the best and again thank you for taking the time to be so generous, it really is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards
.....

Dear Pennie,
Thank  you so much for my wonderful letter and care package.  It absolutely made my day and your letter really touched my heart.  I wish I could thank you in person but please accept this letter instead.

I absolutely love my beautiful laundry bag.   I love the nautical theme pattern and I will treasure it, I will have no trouble finding my washing in the laundry now. It is also perfect to take it with me to sea when I go back to a ship after this deployment.  The lollies and chocolates were most appreciated.

I am so grateful for the beanie - its quite cold here at night at the moment and I didn't bring a beanie. I like running at night time so it will be great to keep my head warm,  Can you please pass on my thanks to Valda and give her a big hug from me.  What an inspiration she is.  I hope you don't mind but I read my letter out to the other people I work with in my office because I was so moved by Valda's story and we were all very touched and want her to know that we all appreciate the contribution she has made to past soldiers and troops today.

Thank you from the bottom on my heart, I hop you and your family have a wonderful and happy New Year.

Warmest regards
.....


Hi Sue,


So I was sitting down this morning about to begin doing the word find that you sent me. On closer inspection I noticed it was a little thick and seemed to be folded in half. When I unfolded it, there it was in all its glory, your email address.
I must start by apologising for not writing to you straight away, the word find had been sitting in my locker for a good ten days now (or maybe more, the days sort of blur into one on these long patrols), I had no idea your email address was inside it, I feel a bit silly. I sent an email on to Jan as soon as I received my package from you and I hope she passed a message on, and if she didn't I wasn't being rude, I just had a blonde moment.

Many many thanks for my quilt, it is absolutely amazing! I was over the moon to get such a gift and so happy when I turned it over to discover the Finish flag on the reverse side, you absolutely nailed it, I can't believe this is your first quilt, I feel very spoilt and the attention to detail is second to none. After my partner looked at the photos she thinks it is to good to use as an everyday quilt and it should be saved for special occasions (I like it to much, think I will have to use it everyday). The washing bag is perfect as well, this will come in very handy on this deployment and future ones to come.
It is such a great thing you guys are doing and it really means allot to know that there a people at home thinking of us, giving up their spare time to put a smile on our faces. I really mean it when I say thank you very much, it is very appreciated not just from me but my family and the rest of my ship mates.

If you haven't seen already there is a photo up on the Darwin facebook page with a few of the guys and their quilts, I'm one of them.

Once again Sue, thank you so very much.

Kind regards
.....


Dear Leanne,
I am writing to thank you for the meticulously crafted quilt and laundry bag I received recently. I know that as I, as well as the troops are very excited to receive gifts such as these and are often overwhelmed by the gestures of individuals like yourself.  Personally it was a most thoughtful as well as useful gift and I know these gifts are gratefully received by all who are lucky enough to find one addressed to them.  I was particularly impressed by the high quality of the craftsmanship.   I can't imagine how many hours it must have taken to complete.

Your efforts, along with all the other contributors to Aussie Hero Quilts, are doing so much good work for Australian sons and daughters serving so far away from home.  Hopefully you can take pride in knowing that you have directly improved the morale of an Australian soldier.

It is an honour and a privilege to deploy overseas to help Afghanistan become a safe place, and aid in the maintenance of security for Australia.  Its particularly encouraging to know that the work our troops are doing is recognised and appreciated by fellow Australians like yourself.

All the best for a successful and prosperous 2014 and again, thank you  for your generous gift.

Have a wonderful night everyone.  I am off to sew.......I hope.

Till next time..................keep spreading the word and happy stitching.  JMxx

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