So, tonight I think it is time to explain who is eligible for a quilt and how to request one for someone or perhaps, for yourself.
I never like listing the Operations we support as I usually forget one or two. Basically if you are deployed to the Middle East in Afghanistan, Iraq or AMAB, or to one of the associated locations then you are eligible to put in a request. If you are a peacekeeper in the Sinai, South Sudan or Israel, then you are also eligible to submit a request. Lastly, if you are deploying on the ships that take part in Operation Manitou then you are eligible also. I don't think I have forgotten anyone but if in doubt please ask.
So how do you submit a request?
If you are on one of the ships that take part in Operation Manitou your chaplain will circulate a notice in the Daily Order (not sure what it is called these days) and you will be asked to notify him if you would like a quilt/laundry bag. It is quite fine to request one or both.
In most locations overseas I have points of contact in central positions, orderly rooms etc but if you are in an area where there does not seem to be a point of contact then you need not miss out. Simply send me an email to friendsofAHQ@gmail.com or PM me on the AHQ Facebook page.
It is also possible for family members or friends to submit a request for someone but please bear in mind that these quilts become very special to the recipients so please take the opportunity to request a quilt for someone seriously.
What information do I need?
Obviously I need your full postal address with first name and PM Keys. First name is important as the quilters like to be able to write "Dear Tom" etc in their letters. PM Keys are essential as that is how I make sure you are not on my list more than once. Believe me, it happens. The most requests I have had for one person is five!! That person was lucky to have some wonderful friends and family!
Additionally I need to know the last FULL month you are deployed for so that I can slot you in to my request list. So for example, if you are due to come home in October, your last FULL month is September. It makes a difference. I allocate quilts to those who will come home first so that hopefully no one misses out. We have come close but so far so good, I have not had to tell anyone that they cannot have a quilt because there are not enough... it has come close but so far so good.
What can you ask for?
We have a multitude of quilters whose skills range from incredible professionals to absolute beginners. Our quilts vary from very simple designs to amazing works of art. It is the luck of the draw when it comes to which quilter nominates to make your quilt. The one thing all our quilts have in common is that they are all made with love.
What other information do you need to provide?
A quilt and/or laundry bag will be sent to you sometime in your deployment, but as early as we can manage. If at any time you are concerned that your parcel may not arrive before you return home please let me know. I never mind anyone sending me an email to see how their quilt or bag is going. I am only human and am always afraid that I have left someone
I think that about sums it up but if you have any questions please do let me know.
Till next time, keep spreading the word and happy stitching!