Jean Quilts Warm Wounded U.S. Soldiers
GRANT, Iowa, March 7, 2007(CBS)
In the teensy town of Grant, Iowa, population only 100 or so, the busiest — and noisiest — place just might be right in Andrea Holldorf's living/sewing room, CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports.
"My husband helps me and we cut at night," Holldorf says.
They cut old blue jeans into squares to sew into quilts, one square at a time. The quilts are intended to warm the bodies — and souls — of wounded American soldiers.
"Blue jeans is something that just about everybody wears and that's comfort. To me, it's comfort, and I hope to them it's comfort," Holldorf says.
Holldorf's brother served in Desert Storm and her mother during the Korean War. She says a lot more goes into these quilts than just the jeans.
"I have got a lot of love in these quilts because I know the sacrifices. I do. In my heart I know. And I just hope this helps just a little bit," Holldorf says.
As a kidney cancer survivor, the retired 58-year-old understands suffering and the need to focus on something bigger than herself.
But she had no way of knowing that her labor of love would take on a life of its own. Just days after CBS affiliate KCCI told Holldorf's story — and it was distributed nationally — something extraordinary happened. Blue jeans began arriving by the truckload from every corner of the country.
She received so many that she and her husband, Al, were in danger of being "boxed out" of their home and their RV.
"The first week, I got a hundred-and-some boxes. And it was anywhere from 12-to-25 boxes a day," Holldorf says.
It was evidence, she says, that everybody wants to help. What she needs now are quilting supplies and help with the cost of getting the quilts from the U.S. to injured soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington.
"They're getting hurt over there, and they don't have their family to hold them or hug them and say it's going to be all right, and this is kind of my way of saying 'it's going to be all right. We love you; it's going to be all right,'" Holldorf says.
Or at least a little bit better, with the help of people Andrea Holldorf. Andrea says no more jeans: She has plenty. But if you would like to donate quilting supplies, like batting (low loft crib size) or thread (machine quilting, blue or any color), or money for postage, please send it to:
P.O. Box 258
Grant, IA 50847