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'Quilts of Valor' bring warmth for Treasure Valley veterans

Jeremy Kitzhaber is awarded a Quilt of Valor created by the Boise Basin Quilters Guild.

As you know, it can get a little cold in December.

Have you heard of the Boise Basin Quilters Guild? They make quilts, not for themselves, but for others. Whether it’s a child in the hospital or a military service veteran, they find people would could use a little warmth and give them their creations.

Those creations are works of art crafted by skilled hands. One quilt can take hundreds of man hours. And the ones they create for "The Quilts of Valor" are even more special.

Connie Emmen explains, "We're thinking of those service personnel with every cut of the rotary cutter with every stitch of the sewing machine, with every stitch of the needle. It's for them that we do it, not for ourselves."

“All of these quilters that are expressing their creativity are volunteers; (they're) using donated materials and donated time," Connie said.

Before the Boise Basin Quilters Guild came along about five years ago, Teri Devine of Quilts of Valor was doing the them all by herself.

"I couldn't keep up with the demand," Teri remembered. But with the help of guild members, she’s multiplied the output. "They're my sole support. They're very important to me."

Recently, they presented a Quilt of Valor to Jeremy Kitzhaber. Kitzhaber retired from the Air Force as a Senior Master Sergeant. He served 22 years and was deployed all over the world.

Kitzhaber has a beautiful wooden display case in his home with the medals and ribbons he earned in the Air Force. Still, the Quilt of Valor is special. He was nominated by women in his church. During his recent battle with cancer, they have been among is fiercest supporters.

"I'm honored to get it," Kitzhaber told KBOI 2News. "I know some people call me a hero, I've never thought of myself as that. As far as valor goes, I did my job the best I could.”

Not only did he receive the quilt, but December's Pay It Forward goes to the quilters, who were awarded $500 from Angie Nelson with Mountain America Credit Union. Money they can now use to buy more thread and fabric to make more quilts for those in need of a warm embrace.

Do you know someone making a difference in the Treasure Valley? Nominate them for a Pay It Forward - Christmas edition!

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