Jefferson Award: Betty Nielsen

Jefferson Award: Betty Nielsen

Betty Nielsen is a former member of the Air Force who started a non- profit group that gives free quilts to the families of military members who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Tucked into a rural Pocahontas County town, there's a place where quilts are made with love.

A place where dozens of volunteers gather their safety pins, straight pins and seam rippers.

That place, is Freedom Quilts, a non-profit organization brought to life by Betty Nielsen, after September 11th, 2001.

"These ladies are amazing. I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't be doing all this if it wasn't for them," said Nielsen.

Since the 911 tragedy, Betty and her husband Dennis have devoted their entire lives to Freedom Quilts.

"I felt a need to reach out to these families. My intention was to make five quilts, but that wasn't the case," said Nielsen.

"I think what we're doing is such a small part. It just doesn't compare, to what I believe, the sacrifices that these people have done for us," said Dennis Nielsen.

Year after year, they have have given quilts to the families of military members, officers and first responders.

"We actually have two quilts that we made for the 911 Memorial Museum," said Nielsen.

An Air Force Veteran herself, Betty says these handmade quilts are not just fabric sewn together, they are memories, so sacred to the loved ones of those serving in the military.

"It just got bigger and bigger and bigger and the community all pitched in, everybody helped us. We're here on earth, not just for ourselves, but we're here to help others. That's my motto," said Nielsen.

For more information on the Freedom Quilts, click here.

To nominate a volunteer that deserves to be recognized nominate them here.

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