By Shandi Dix, Fort Riley Public AffairsSeptember 16, 2009
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Hearts Apart along with the Armed Services YMCA in Junction City held the Operation Kid Comfort program Sept. 10 at the ASYMCA facilities.
"Quilt for Kids" taught spouses of deployed Soldiers how to make photo quilts.
"The end result being new skills and a memory to treasure for their children," said Theresa E. Gale, Army Community Service, Relocation Readiness.
Sixteen spouses attended the workshop with childcare provided by ASYMCA and paid for by Hearts Apart.
One spouse left her baby in child care for the first time.
"She was very reluctant at first but Betsy Young, the ASYMCA's program volunteer, talked to her a bit," Gale said. "She was able to let go and enjoy the evening with the other spouses knowing her child was being well taken care of in the other room."
The Hearts Apart program is about spouses being able to get out and enjoy other spouses, Gale said.
"Because as someone once told me, 'It's going to be a long year if you don't let go and get out and enjoy life'."
Spouses had the opportunity to talk to one another and learn each other's stories. A few wives were able to begin their quilts.
Melissa Valdez, wife of 1st Sgt. William Valdez, was able to get all eight of her photos printed and began laying them out and trimming them.
Young also demonstrated to spouses how to cut the strips that will frame their photos for those that wanted to begin that portion of the quilt while they waited for photos to print.
The photos are printed directly onto material which has a paper backing. Once the backing is peeled off, the portion with the photo is material and can be quilted.
At the end of the night spouses were able to leave their photos to be printed or were given the material paper to print their photos at home and bring to the next workshop on Sept. 24.
The ASYMCA hosts this event every second and fourth Thursday of the month for all spouses of deployed Soldiers. The Operation Kid Comfort program is free and onsite childcare is provided.
To attend or for more information, call ASYMCA at 785-238-2972.