Veteran says his nightmares stopped after receiving quilt from local non-profit

February 3rd was National Sew Day, and the women of Starr Mountain Quilts of Valor Quilters were on a mission to make vibrant quilts for veterans. (Image: WTVC)

There's a waiting list in McMinn County that has the names of 60 veterans on it.

They're all waiting for a quilt made by the Quilt of Valor Foundation.

A local chapter was started nine years ago by a woman who wanted to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts.

In this week's Pay It Forward, Jessica Harthorn surprises her on National Sew Day.

Beth Sizemore started the Starr Mountain Quilts of Valor Quilters in 2009.

Her husband Gene was career Navy, and her daughter is now a Lt. Colonel in the Army.

She says the quilts she makes do much more than keep veterans warm.

In the basement of the McMinn County Living Heritage Museum you'll hear a lot of whirring.

Dozens of sewing machines humming away, creating quilts as fast as possible.

February 3rd was National Sew Day, and the women of Starr Mountain Quilts of Valor were on a mission to make vibrant quilts for veterans.

"We just want to, as civilians, show them how much we appreciate what they've done for us, and how much we care," said member Janet Meeks.

Since 2009, the group has grown from 3 to 30, attracting every generation.

So far, more than 300 quilts have been presented to local vets, some wait more than a year to get one.

Vietnam Veteran Joe McCoy was recently nominated . He says his quilt represents an award for his service.

"There wasn't a lot of people saying thank you, let me put it that way, and now people have turned around, and I'm so grateful," said Joe.

Today, its the non-profit's founder, Beth Sizemore, that gets a thank you.

Her friend, Janet Meeks, surprised her in the middle of their monthly quilting meeting.

"Beth, turn around here," said Janet.

"Oh my goodness!" said Beth.

"On behalf of Newschannel 9"said Janet.

"Oh Heavens!" said Beth.

"And the McMahan Law Firm, I want to Pay It Forward to you $500 for all your volunteer service. I'm going to give you $500 cash to do whatever you want," surprised Janet.

"You see all this! Guess what it's going too?!" asked Beth.

Beth says the money will go right back to the Starr Mountain Quilts of Valor Quilters, because every quilt they make brings comfort to veterans.

"One of our most recent vets, he said he quit having nightmares when he got his quilt," said Beth.

Motivation she says, to keep these machines moving.

After we surprised Beth, the McMinn County Mayor's Office presented her with a plaque for her community service.

A proclamation was made that February 3rd is now Beth Sizemore day.

Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for helping others? Nominate them here.

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