Kindergartners to present homemade 'quilt of valor' to UCLA's Operation Mend
Twenty-three kindergartners from the Berkeley Hall School in Los Angeles will present a homemade "quilt of valor" to representatives of UCLA's Operation Mend, a program that provides reconstructive surgeries and medical services to military members severely injured and disfigured during service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A military tradition, "quilts of valor" are homemade quilts given to wounded warriors to provide warmth and comfort. The kindergartners' quilt will be presented to Patti Taylor, a retired U.S. Army nurse and volunteer nurse with Operation Mend who also sews quilts for patients, and Melanie Gideon, manager of Operation Mend.
The idea for the kindergarten quilt project came from the children's teacher, who was inspired by an article she read in the Los Angeles Daily News about Taylor's quilting group, which has crafted more than 50 quilts for Operation Mend patients.
Each square in the kindergartners' quilt contains a tracing of a student's hand, surrounded by a heart. The 24th square, in the bottom right-hand corner reads, "We salute you with our hands and love you with our hearts." A student's mother sewed the squares into the quilt.
The presentation ceremony will include the following participants:
- Kindergarten students from Berkeley Hall School
- Barbara DeNisi, the teacher who supervised the quilt project
- Patti Taylor, volunteer nurse with Operation Mend
- Melanie Gideon, manager of Operation Mend
11 a.m., Friday, March 23
Berkeley Hall School, 16000 Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles 90049 (map)
Tell guard at gate you are visiting for the kindergarten quilt presentation.
Established in 2007, Operation Mend combines the best of the U.S. military's resources with the skills of the UCLA Health to help heal wounded warriors. The program — a partnership among UCLA; Brooke Army Medical Center, a leading burn and rehabilitation center in San Antonio; and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System — started with facial reconstruction but has since expanded to optimize healing body, mind and spirit. In addition to plastic and reconstructive surgery, Operation Mend provides mental health support, orthopaedic reconstruction, urologic treatment, otolaryngological care, examination and treatment of reproductive issues, repair of airways, and design of new prosthetic ears. To learn more, visit www.operationmend.ucla.edu.
Amy Albin, UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, 310-794-8672