Quilts warm war vets

After wildfires are out, members begin service

GRANADA HILLS, Calif. — Just weeks after smoke and evacuations threatened the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, Relief Society members of the Granada Hills California Stake set up shop and got right back to work reaching out to the community for Veterans Day.

Some 150 women combined their time and talents to help the Los Angeles Veterans Hospital in North Hills by sewing large, warm quilts for hospital beds and making dozens of year-round holiday decorations for the dining rooms that are home to nearly a hundred ill and healing war veterans.

The stake Relief Society's "Labor of Love Day" was planned as a way of remembering and serving the many brave people then and now who have fought for freedom. This was the sixth year in a row that the stake had adopted the Veterans Hospital for Veterans Day.

"It's very meaningful to find ways to be of service to others, said Pat Hunt, the stake's community affairs specialist. "There is no better medicine than personal service to help you put your own struggles aside."

While some women sewed, quilted and painted for the hospital, others lined up to be fingerprinted to qualify as volunteers to work with the Alliance for Abused Children in the San Fernando Valley.

The Granada Hills and Canoga Park stakes have a long tradition of filling in as extra grandmothers, friends, or just volunteers providing good company, toys, birthday presents, and Christmas parties for Los Angeles children who are in special need.

"We never have a better response to an activity than when we ask our sisters to help the needy in our community. Every work station was filled," said Julie Barton, first counselor in the Granada Hills stake Relief Society presidency.

Only weeks ago it was the residents of these stakes who were the ones in need as huge smoke clouds and racing flames shadowed the neighborhoods of the Granada Hills and Canoga Park in Los Angeles. Several LDS families were forced to evacuate but, miraculously, not one home was lost in that part of the Los Angeles area fires.

Serving the children and the deserving veterans of Los Angeles this November was their way of giving thanks.