Thursday, 6 July 2017

Thanks on Thursday.....


This first message tonight was posted on Facebook.   Enjoy!
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Feeling pretty special right about now. The wonderful people at Aussie Hero Quilts have put together a beautiful quilt and laundry bag reminiscent of my girls - weightlifting and sausage dogs!!!
One of my favorite things to do at home with my girls is snuggle under "blankies" together and watch movies. Now, I get to do that while I am away and feel like I have them close to me. I'm going to have a hard time keeping this quilt all to myself when I get back home!
A very special heart felt THANK YOU to Lynn F, Jacqui D, Claire W, Jenny S, Marianne B and Wendy F for all helping to make this quilt masterpiece. Thank you to Clarissa Luxford for the fun, bright laundry bag. And thank you Jan-Maree for your tireless work toward this cause. Please know that what you are doing is invaluable and that these bright bundles of warmth do more than you could ever imagine.

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Good morning ladies from the sunny Middle East!

I apologise for taking a few weeks to send a thank you but I wanted to ensure I had enough time to write a decent email. Today is my first day off for three weeks and so the chance hasn't arrived until now.

The wonderful ladies of the Patchwork Quilting Grans sent me this beautiful quilt. As you can see from the pictures below, it brightens up my room considerably! It usually stays on my armchair, but when the air con gets a bit crazy it helps make my bed a bit more snuggly. I can't thank the ladies enough for this quilt, it means so much to me that a bunch of strangers could open up their hearts and create such a piece of art for me. We work long hours here and for me, it is a real morale booster to come home each night and be surrounded by colour!

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Dearest Joan and Robin,

Thank you for the beautiful laundry bag (and the ships magazine) - I absolutely love it!  I am one of the doctors working at the health facility here and am also in charge of the aeromedical evacuation operations in the region.  

Thank you for your support and the morale boost that you bring to our deployed personnel.  It means a lot to us.  This is my first deployment, and it is definitely an eye-opener!  I hope your son enjoyed his deployment as much as I am enjoying mine.

Warmest Regards,
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Dear Pennie,

Today I received your beautiful laundry bag.  When I opened it and saw how much work you put into it and how amazing it looked it almost brought me to tears.  I absolutely love it!   I plan to give it to my son.  I haven’t told him its coming yet, because I want to give it to him when I return home in Nov to see his face light up with a massive smile.

You guys do an AMAZING job and I know that everyone over here really appreciates the effort and support.
It is a wonderful feeling knowing that people back home care and support us doing the job we have been tasked to do.

This is my 3rd time away from my children, and this is the longest, being 7 months.  Two years ago I was boarding the plane to come home and now I am only just starting my time away from them again.
Last deployment I had a fair amount of photos taken with my Air Force teddy bear so I could communicate with my kids and  not just talk about the same things over and over (what they had for breakfast was a frequent topic) haha.

I have brought the bear back over this time for another adventure and have sent more photos home this time, although I am trying to shy away from the ‘official’ photographers J

I really do appreciate you taking the time out to make such beautiful creations for all of us deployed here.
You truly are a beautiful person and I thank you so much for all the effort that went into the bag!
I can’t even imagine how time consuming is would have been.
Thank you for the Jelly Beans and snack bars too, I will share them with my team – they will love the sugar ;)

I hope you have a lovely day, and once again from the bottom of my heart, thank you soooooooo much!
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G'day Michele,

Thank you very much for the quilt. When I was asked by Jan-Maree what theme I wanted I chose military only because I didn't know what else to choose. After 35 years in the Army I must be institutionalized.

Anyway, the quilt you have sent me is perfect. It incorporates two things I'm very passionate about in travel and Australiana. Dorothea Mackellar's "My Country" is also a favourite but as an avid orchid collector I like the third verse;

I showed my wife and she was not only impressed but jealous. You should also be happy to know that although I live in QLD, it does get cold so the quilt will surely get a workout on the lounge during winter. I will probably have to fight my wife for it but it will be used.

My apologies for not penning a response but this means is the most convenient for me at the present time.

Thank you again and thanks to Jan-Maree and all the members of Aussie Hero Quilts. Keep up the good work.

Regards
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Hi Ruth,

I am currently deployed for 6 months to the middle east. I recently received a Laundry Bag made by yourself. I just want to say Thank you and really appreciate the time and effort you have put into it. It is perfect and will definitely be put to good use!

So once again thank you and keep up the good work!!!
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Hi Jess,

Sorry it took so long to email back, we have had a really active patrol. The ship had its third major seizure of narcotics removing another 260kg of heroin. This will actually be my last port coming up as I leave the ship early to prepare for my next posting in Canberra. I am super excited to see my daughter and wife again and I know she will love the quilt just as much as I do.

My daughter just started walking shortly after I saw her briefly in April for mid-deployment leave. So looking forward to getting home next week and experience life as a Dad again. Thank you so much for the quilt, I can see a lot of time and effort went into them and the accompanying letter really brought into perspective all the great work you do. 

Thank you again

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Dear Linda.

I am writing to express how thankful I am for my quilt and laundry bag.
Let me start by saying WOW!! They're both amazing!! The quality you have made them to is seriously amazing, literally everyone, bunnies supporters or not, were soooo jealous when they saw me open my boxes!! Everyone I show them to agrees with me when I say its better than even official merchandise!

Receiving them really brought such a huge smile to my face! I sleep with the quilt every night and it brightens my room. Every time I see it I cant believe someone exists out there that was willing to put so much love time and effort into something for someone they don't know. I hope you know I am extremely grateful! The laundry bag is almost to good to use haha! And I love that my initials are on the back!! I really appreciate it so Thankyou!!

My Dad was always a bunnies supporter and he says when they won in 2014 it was the 5th best day of his life! ( after 3 kids and marriage). I played NRL as a child for the North Sydney Bears junior club so once they left the competition it was only natural i joined the souths!! 

I will take some photos and email them to show where your beautiful work has made it and how it brightens my day! 

Once again, Thankyou so much for it and also for the treats you sent! The tim tams were so popular and the vegemite gives me one of the true aussie comforts each morning on my toast!

Looking forward to your reply.

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Dear Mae,

Yesterday I received the most gorgeous gift in the mail, and it was from you.  The laundry bag and quilt you made me are just beautiful.
I especially liked the personal touch of adding my initials to the laundry bag.  The goodies you sent were also fantastic – all things we need here in Iraq.

Just a little about me in case you are interested.  I am a Medic based in  Townsville.  I am married and have twin girls who turn 8 in June.

Thank you so much for the laundry bag and quilt and the box of goodies.  It was all so much appreciated and has certainly brightened my room.
Thanks also for all the effort you go to for other deployed members of our Defence Force.
I know everyone who has ever received these packages has treasured them just as I will treasure mine.

Kind regards
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Hi Jan-Maree,

Thank you so much for the quilt and laundry bag!  I love them both – especially the added dogs, I love it!  Thank you and all of the wonderful ladies who do such a good job.  There really is nothing better than receiving mail over here J

Please pass on my gratitude to Madelyne, Bev and Bridget for their awesome efforts.  I really can’t thank you all enough.

My partner passes on her thanks as well, she was telling me how happy I sounded when I got my quilt, and how she could see it lifted my spirits.
So from my family to yours, I wish you well in all future endeavours.

Thank you once again
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Hello Mae 

I received your quilt yesterday in the mail.  I really appreciate all the work you have put in to send it out here.
It is a present I will pass down when I have kids.
Thank you for all the other little gifts in the package, it’s always nice having things that remind us of home.

Just a bit about myself.  I am 21yrs old and have been in the Army for 3 years.  I grew up on the central coast in NSW.  I love the beach and to surf, which I really miss here because the weather here isn’t that great and the air quality is poor, it makes you appreciate Australia.

Thank you again for the gifts.

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Dear Anne,

Thank you so much for the quilt and laundry bag you sent to me whilst I am deployed overseas.  You have no idea how receiving something like this boosts morale and helps people get through.  It is honestly amazing!  I absolutely love all the work you have put into both of them, they will both be cherished for a very long time.

Prior to deploying, I honestly wasn’t aware of Aussie Hero Quilts, but now all of my family and friends back home are well aware because of you, so thank you.  I think it’s a really great thing you do.

Thank you for your letter, I enjoyed reading about your life and what you have been up to.  You spoke of your visit to the RSL in Hay for ANZAC Day.  

I am originally from  Sydney and am one of five children.  I joined the Army when I was 18 and have been in for the last 8 years.  I have two sisters living up in Queensland, one as a nurse in Brisbane and one as a paramedic in Cairns.  My brother is a designer in Sydney and I have another sister studying at uni.  My girlfriend of four years was born in Ireland.  I met her when she was travelling around Australia.  I don’t think her Mum is too impressed with her going out with an Australian in Australia, ha ha.

We are all looking forward to getting home and catching up with everyone.  Whilst we have missed every public holiday on the Australian calendar by being over here, the experiences here have actually been very good.   We have assisted through training, supplying air strikes, support to their medical facilities and supporting the sustainment of their forces. 

Thank you once again for the time and effort you put into the quilt and laundry bag.  I love them!  Please take care of yourself and Alan and pass on my regards at your next sewing group.

Cheers,
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3 June 2017

Dear Jan-Maree,

Throughout my tour, I have admired the quilts that you folks sent across here to my mates.  Never did I expect to receive a quilt myself.  The quilt is simply amazing!  As you know, I have served two nations, Canada and Australia.  During my three operational tours with the Canadians, we were used to deploying and returning and no one caring except our families.

As I am coming to the close of my fourth tour as an Australian I am proud to say that people like you remind us constantly that we are remembered and valued for our service.

As I come to the end of my service, my wife and I have been downsizing to get ready for a smaller home.  The quilt will remain one of my prized possessions for many years to come.  It certainly will not be downsized!

Thank you and your amazing organisation.

Sincerely,
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Dear Raeleen and Liz,

Thank you so much for my Aussie Hero Quilt and laundry bag, they are fantastic and without a doubt they have brightened up my room. This is my fourth deployment now and the first time I have received a quilt and laundry bag, so I was very excited to receive your parcel.

My role on deployment keeps very busy; constantly moving around the MER for tasks, so I’m very sorry it has taken this long to respond.

I grew up in country NSW and I have been in the Air Force as a photographer for 21 years now; it’s a great job that has taken me all over the world. I have attached a few photos so you can see the type of work we do on deployment.

I think it’s marvellous what you do for the troops with Aussie Hero Quilts and I know that it is the highlight of most people’s deployment, as it is for me. We all appreciate how much love and time goes into making a laundry bag and quilt. There is a lot great banter on who has the best laundry bag or quilt, but I know I have the best laundry bag and quilt in the MER!!


Thanks again for my laundry bag and quilt; I will cherish it for years to come.

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Good Evening Mrs Shirley W

I am writing this email to thank you for sewing and sending my quilt and laundry bag (and the Tim Tams, coffees and other goodies too).

The feeling of receiving a package here is hard to describe and to have something hand made and with a personal letter makes it even more special.

I truly appreciate the effort you have made to make and send this package to me and the other packages that you no doubt have sent to other members over time.

I trust you are enjoying the pleasant weather in QLD, it is 48 degrees Celsius here at the moment so I am missing the temperate Aussie weather a bit.
Thank you again for your time and effort and take care.
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Hi Shirley,

I'd just like to let you know that my wife received the beautiful quilt that you made for our daughter today. I'd just like to say a big thank you for all the hard work that you put in and how quickly you completed it. My wife sent me some pictures of it today.

Thank so much for also posting it to my home address. Jan and her team have been fantastic for all our deployed members and I don't think that we can thank you guys enough. Your work keeps morale up all over the Middle East, so again thank you.

I used to be in the Army as well, I had completed 6.5yrs before I changed over to the RAAF which I have done for the last 11years. 

I've also had 3 tours in East Timor, The Solomon Is, Pakistan, Afghanistan and also 2 trips here in Qatar and Dubai. My wife is also in the RAAF. She works in Logistics and I work in Administration. She's been deployed twice to the Middle East.

At this stage I have about 40 days left until I get home, we're going to wrap up the quilt and let my daughter open it when I get home. 

Please keep up the awesome work that you and everyone else does, as I said it has kept morale up and many people come into my work place and brag about how good their quilts are as I'm usually the person that sends off the orders, so thank you.

Please have a great 2017 and keep safe.
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Hi Sue,

I just wanted to thank you so very much for the lovely quilt that you sent. I couldn't have asked for a better quilt, it is perfect and so detailed!! 

I hope this finds you and your family well.

A little about me.. I have been in the Navy for 8 years however, this is my first operational deployment. I am married and have 2 fur children, a cat and a dog. I come from a military family with my father serving 22 years in the Air Force and a few Aunts and Uncles who have been in both the Navy and the Air Force. There isn't really much else to tell you, life is very busy but i enjoy being busy and challenged and i am certainly getting that out here.

Thank you ever so much again. Keep up the good work, i know that these small gifts are very much appreciated by us all.

Kind Regards
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Hi Connie,

I'd just like to thank you for taking the time to make and send me such a wonderful bag. Love the F1 material you found. I'm into my cars, so this is perfect!

To be honest it's too good to use for dirty laundry, so atm it is serving as a toy bag for my daughters Lego

Thanks again Connie for the care package and Laundry bag, very much appreciated.
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Hi Anne,

I just received your laundry bag the other day and wanted to write to you to say thank you. I like the reptiles and the colours are great. It has really brightened up my room and is a big improvement on the plain blue one that they issue us with here. Thanks for the letter too. It’s very nice of you to take the time to write a personal letter.

The laundry bags and quilts are very popular and much appreciated by everyone here and there is always a lot of anticipation around when it will arrive in the mail. They definitely make our camp a lot more colourful as you see people walking around with them. You would maybe be surprised how much the laundry bags and quilts are a feature of our camp here.

Thanks for the bag of snakes. They are one of my favourites and they didn’t last long. That was a nice surprise and very generous of you. They didn’t melt, just stuck together a little bit. People often send chocolate over here, and that doesn’t usually work out so well!

It is very much the opposite of cold southern Australia here at the moment. We are running around 49-50 degrees every day now and it doesn’t really drop below 30 at night. I like warm weather so it doesn’t bother me too much, though we get quite a lot of humid days on top of the heat, and those days are pretty unpleasant. My wife told me it was 1 degree in Melbourne this morning, so quite a contrast to life over here. I imagine Hobart is probably even colder.

Thanks again for the bag, and thanks for taking the time to do something that means so much to people serving overseas. 
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Good afternoon Clarissa,

I've finally received the lovely quilt. It got to South Sudan on the day I was leaving for home so without opening it, it went back in the post and has finally arrived in Australia! 

Thanks so much for your efforts, the quilts bring much happiness to the recipients and also make excellent mementos of our travels.

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Hi Rosina,

I received your gorgeous Paw Patrol laundry bag last week.
It is absolutely beautiful, I am taking it home for my 3 year old son who loves Paw Patrol.
I am so thankful for all the wonderful ladies (and men) who create these special quilts and laundry bags for us over here.
Receiving them really does put a smile on our faces and boosts morale.  It is also just an unexpected surprise to get them as we never know when they are turning up.

This is my third time overseas and the longest time I have spent away from my kids, it is tough but this is what I signed up for.
I love my job doing what I do.

Please thank all of the people in the quilting group for me and let them know we all appreciate the job they are doing out of love.

Once again, thank you for the beautiful bag, my son is going to be so happy.
I hope you have a lovely day and thanks for the minties and M&M’s, they will be shared amongst my team.

Thank you J

All the best,
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Dear Gail,
Firstly, I would love to express my gratitude for the amazing quilt and laundry bag which I received whilst deployed in Iraq. I only received the laundry bag today. Both items are magnificent and exceeded any expectations in regards to your thoughtfulness and the valuable time dedicated to produce these wonderful works of art.

The quilt and laundry bag are definitely the most amazing items that I have ever received. The attention to detail with my initials having traditional art inside and the states of Australia printed in the shape of Australia on the laundry bag was quite clever. The snakes and tim tams will be inhaled accordingly as I have a very sweet tooth. They definitely aren’t going to last long and I will share them with the diggers when they get back from the shooting range. It’s actually ironic that they are tim tams as my wife has recently hidden 3 packets so I don’t eat them before she sends them to deployed friends as care packages.

Your fine work and support is greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Regards
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Hi Jenny,

I have just received my Aztec quilt from you and I absolutely LOVE it, it is exactly what I was hoping for.

Thank you so much for your letter, it sounds like you have a great understanding of what deployed life can be like, and thanks to your quilt my morale has skyrocketed!

I really wanted one that would go with my interior at home so I could always have it out, and it is perfect.
My partner and I own a cottage that we are currently renovating that was built in 1922. It is on 5 acres in QLD.  

I still have 4 months and some days till I'm home again (But hey, who’s counting?).
Luckily I have my break late Aug, and I am taking my mother in law to Europe for 2 weeks. She has always wanted to go to Europe so I asked her to come with me. She is meeting me in Dubai. I’m so excited to take her, I think it will be very special.

Well, I am off to change my sheets and remake my bed to put my quilt on it!!

Thank you so much Jenny, I couldn’t possibly express my gratitude through an email.
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Hi Jenny,

Received your second box today, again, thank you for the laundry bag I love it you hit the nail right on the head it's fantastic. Also thank you for all the goodies as well how did you know myself and my section love Tim Tams they will go down a treat,  they are also very good for bargaining chips with our American friends they will do and give anything for Tim Tams :) that's if we don't eat them first. Again thank you for all the other goodies as well I feel very spoilt. 

Take care, and again thank you very much the quilt and laundry bag are perfect and the food will go down a treat.

Regards,
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Pennie, we all think that the work all the members of Aussie Hero Quilts do is wonderful and you are all very special people.
I can’t tell you how much people (and me) appreciate the lovely quilts and laundry bags.
The smiles I see on their faces is lovely.  Thank you all so very much for your hard work and thoughtfulness.
Please pass on our thanks to anyone else you happen to be in contact with.
Soon I will be home and I will always remember this deployment and also the kindness you showed with my lovely handmade items.

I look forward to all the “perks” of being a Grandmother, and yes, I will love going to the park again with someone other than my dog.


Take care friend,
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Till next time..... keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx

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