Source: Sherman Publications

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1,000 Miracle Quilts delivered

by Susan Bromley

July 31, 2013

Over the course of the past four years, Carole Carroll has been delivering warmth and compassion to military service members and their families.

The Addison Township resident founded Miracle Quilts in 2009 with a desire to give quilts to Americans who have served their country in the armed forces, most of them injured in the line of duty, although the scars aren't always visible.

"I just hope they can see there are people who appreciate their sacrifices," said Carroll. "At Walter Reed (National Medical Center), you see them coming and going, 19 and 20-year-olds, and they are missing limbs. Everytime I want to complain, I step back and I think, 'Carole, you dont have any problems. It really brings things into perspective."

About 1,000 quilts have been delivered to military members and their families since the inception of Miracle Quilts, named in honor of PFC Joseph Miracle, a 2003 Brandon High School graduate who was killed by enemy fire July 5, 2007 in Afghanistan.

The Miracle Quilts group meets from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. the second Saturday of every month (except July) at Independence Village, a senior retirement home in Oxford. Members spend a half-hour or the whole day. There are no attendance requirements or dues to be paid, just a desire to sew quilts and give hope to wounded warriors.

"You tell me what you choose to do, on your terms," said Carroll, who is always growing the organization by speaking to ladies' clubs, quilt guilds, and ladies auxiliaries. "My goal is just to get more people involved in the project."

The quilts don't have to be a patriotic design, though many are. The makers of the quilts don't even have to be local. Many of the contributors to the project live out of state and send their creations to Carroll to deliver to the recipients, many of whom cry, she said, just to know there are others thinking of them.

"People say to me, 'Carole, this project will be over, the war is over,' but this won't be over for them. We just want to say thank you for your sacrifice and service for us."

Carroll estimates she currently has upward of 150 people contributing to the project. She stores finished quilts in a bedroom at her home until she is able to send them or deliver them in person to veteran's hospitals or Fisher Houses (part of a foundation that provides a "home away from home" for military families who have a loved one hospitalized). She has delivered quilts to the Detroit Veterans Homeless Center and the VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids, Mich., as well as Chicago, Washington, DC, and the Wounded Warrior Center in South Carolina. She has even sent quilts to the U.S. base in Landstuhl, Gy., although it is very costly and requires donations for postage.

She plans to drive to Washington, D.C. again in September with another carload of quilts, accompanied by Joe Miracle's mother, Judy Miracle, a Groveland Township resident.

Judy doesn't sew the quilts, but is active in the group and loves to help deliver them. In the last few years, she has been able to give quilts to soldiers who served with her son in Afghanistan.

"It is helpful to me and to the soldiers who were with my son to deliver a quilt to them," she said. "They have a rough time when they come home. With the quilts, I am bringing them something that shows how we appreciate what they do and we acknowledge they are suffering. As a mother who has been through what I've been through, I think they relate to me a little more... They comment to me, so repetitively, 'Thank you for your sacrifice.' I am honoring my son by doing this. It gives me a chance to see young boys like my son was at this time, and how much pride they have in what they are doing. I do a lot of hugging of kids that were my son's age."

Those hugs give Judy a sense of being able to hug her son again.

For more information on Miracle Quilts, call Judy Miracle at 248-884-8585 or Carole Carroll at 248-321-8669.