A couple of young ladies from the junior class, Addi and Tabitha, worked closely with an elementary teacher, Mrs. Dreschel, to organize the assembly. The girls put together a neat video thanking veterans, designed the program that was distributed to everyone, and they presented a gift to the Monroeville VFW. There was a lot involved in the program itself, including a breakfast for the veterans, a lot music by the high school band, choir and various elementary classes,and even a coloring and essay contest for the elementary school. The winners of the essay contest read their papers and a senior young man spoke about the impact of Veterans day on him. Both of his parents are veterans and his speech was very touching. Also included was a Quilts of Valor presentation. That's where I come in the picture.
I'm sure you long-time readers remember when I made quilts for a couple of students who were involved in a very serious accident in January of 2015. You can read about them HERE
You might also remember that during her recovery from a traumatic brain injury, I tutored Allie. I loved working with her!
Allie is now a sophomore and doing amazingly well. This past summer, Allie and I talked about ways for her to give back to the school community (she calls them her school family), for all of the prayers, thoughts, help, and support that they showed her. She asked what kind of volunteer stuff I do and her eyes lit up when I told her about Quilts of Valor.
We got right to work to see if she'd be permitted to have the presentation at school during the Veterans Day Assembly. Once she got the approval, she needed to determine who, within the school family was a veteran and if they would accept a quilt. While she did that, I started sewing! When it was all said and done, five quilts were presented during the assembly and five others were presented in private.
Here are a some pictures of yesterday's presentation. (Since I was involved in the presentation, I want to thank Allie's mom Wendy, and the art teacher, Laurie, for sharing their pictures with me.)
I was so happy for Allie. I know she was nervous, but you could not tell it from the way she handled herself. I was amazed at how well she did. I don't know if this will work, but HERE is a link that includes a video of her speech.
While Allie and her friend Chloe covered the veterans, I called them from the audience and provided information about their years of service. It was very emotional for the veterans, many who thought that they didn't really do anything special and that they didn't deserve any special recognition. We beg to differ! They ARE special!
Of course there were a few chuckles too, especially when I'm sure Mr. Sparks wanted to make sure the girls did not step on his healing foot.
It was very emotional to watch as the girls draped the quilts over the shoulders of the veterans and told them, "We have your back and we have you covered. Thank you for your service to our country." Allie's family is good friends with the last recipient (Mr. Sparks), and she was smiling as she picked up his quilt.
This might be my favorite picture of the day. I was totally blown away when there was a spontaneous standing ovation after the final quilt was presented. And the best part of that is the fact that it was the students who stood first and applauded. I love it when I see the positive in kids and not only the negative. It made me smile, and I was sure to tell the students how proud of them I was.
There were pictures and videos posted on Facebook about the ceremony and that was nice to see. (I am so over the political negativity!) And I was surprised this morning when I went to a guild meeting and had one of the members show me that there was an article in the local paper. Here's a link to the article in the Norwalk Reflector :-)