It is a great honour to be a part of the Quilts of Valour Canada Society leadership team. My first experience with Quilts of Valour was as a Canadian Armed Forces Nursing Officer in Kandahar, Afghanistan. I will truly never be able to put into words how much it meant to have these beautiful quilts from home to tuck around our injured Canadian soldiers as they began their journey back to their loved ones. Many years later as part of my PTSD healing journey I began quilting. It helped with my healing, and making quilts for my brothers and sisters in arms gave me purpose. I felt connected both to my fellow veterans and to many amazing QOVC volunteers. In 2016 I received my quilt of valour and felt first hand the healing and comfort it provides.
The quilt recipients, their loved ones and the volunteers that I have met during my time with quilts of valour has motivated me to give as much as I can to QOVC. It is a privilege to be a part of a team of quilters and volunteers who truly care about our ill and injured veterans and want to recognize them for their service and sacrifice to Canada.
Our organization is comprised entirely of volunteers and as a national charity we rely on donations from sponsors and generous Canadians. I encourage you to consider Quilts of Valour Canada when you are looking for a place to donate your time, your talents or your resources.
It still astounds me to think of how much QOVC continues to grow. From the first quilts made in Edmonton and presented to our wounded by QOVC founder Lezley Zwaal. The box of quilts we received at the Role 3 Hospital in Kandahar that meant so very much to those preparing our wounded to return home. The privilege we have to provide ‘A Hug from a grateful nation’ to veterans from WWII to our modern day veterans. We have presented almost 22,000 quilts and continue to have many more to present.
How We Started
In 2006 a local Edmonton quilter presented quilts to three Canadian Armed Forces members who were recovering in hospital from injuries they received in Afghanistan. It was her way of saying “Thank You" and giving some comfort to these military members. She was not prepared for the impact of meeting these brave young men and learning first hand of their injuries. It made such an impression that it has taken quilter Lezley Zwaal in directions she never imagined. From these humble beginnings Quilts of Valour - Canada was born.
Our mission is to ensure that injured Canadian Forces members are recognized for their service and commitment to our country. We give this support through the presentation of quilts to comfort our injured past and present Canadian Forces members.
Quilts of Valour - Canada Society Launched
Through the encouragement, support and enthusiasm of quilters, the Quilts of Valour - Canada Society was formed as a registered national charity in 2009.
The Quilts of Valour – Canada Society has presented quilts to thousands of recipients who are coping with injuries both visible and invisible. These quilts are made by volunteer quilters from across the country who wished to show their appreciation to our injured Canadian Armed Forces members, past and present for their bravery and commitment to Canada and its citizens. The quilts come from individuals, groups and guilds, men and women, young people, retired armed forces members themselves and many others with no connection to the military.