Milly – Part 7

In Part 6, the quilt, Milly, and the children were VIPs aboard the Intrepid Museum in NYC.  What an event!  The museum’s Curator called me to say the quilt was too large to hang at the museum.  Their Executive Board unanimously agreed to give the quilt to the Fisher House Foundation – which was started by Zachary Fisher, who also rescued the USS Intrepid.  So, we were off again…

Part 7

We arrived at the Massachusetts Fisher House with children and families in tow to deliver the quilt.  It was to be a proper send-off.  In turn, they would send the quilt on to the Fisher House Foundation.

Beth the Director abruptly excused herself to make a phone call.  She had seen the quilt and looked rather shocked.  We all looked at each other in very uncomfortable silence.  It didn’t help that you could hear a pin drop in this new, way-too-quiet house.

“Jennie, I have just called the Fisher Foundation and have spoken with their Director.”

“Okay…”  I had no idea where this was going.  Maybe they didn’t want to mail something so large?  Oh please, don’t let everything fall apart, especially not in front of Milly and the children.  Boy, was I wrong!

“We want the quilt.  We would be proud to hang it here.  Do you know how many families with children stay at the Fisher House?  Think what it would mean to them, do for them, to see this quilt every day.”

My mind was scrambling to switch gears.  And, I was taken aback thinking of the families of soldiers and sailors.  Who really needs to see this quilt?  They do.  Think Jennie, the quilt would make a difference.

“I have worked this out with the Fisher Foundation.  They think it is a wonderful idea.  What do you think?”

I looked at Milly.  She nodded and smiled.  Even her eyes smiled.

“I think that would be wonderful, Beth.  Thank you.  Where will you hang the quilt?”

“Come with me.”

We all trotted over to the living room, the main room in the house.  Hanging in a place of prominence was a large abstract oil painting.  It was black and white, a series of sharp lines that looked like something angry.  Goodbye ugly painting, and hello beautiful quilt.

At last the children were able to get back to the quilt presentation.

We sang “God Bless America” for a small crowd.  Then we presented Beth with a copy of our book.  It would be there at the house for children and families to read (photos of the inside of the book are in Part 5):

“Jennie, we have some soldiers here in the den.  Can you and the children sing “God Bless America” for them?  Could you sing to them with the book?”

And so we did.  With the book.  That was perhaps the most moving time I have ever had singing “God Bless America.”  One soldier said to me as soon as we finished, “That book needs to go to the Wounded Warrior Project.  It really does.  It’s wonderful.”

I had no idea what the Wounded Warrior Project was.

“They need to put that book into the hands of people.  Everyone needs this.”  The soldier went on and on in great excitement.  It was as if the book would give people another layer of pride, something pure from young children.  I understood.  And, I thanked her.

“No, thank you.” she said.  I was choked up.  All I could do was nod my head- about a hundred times.

And so, the God Bless America quilt hangs proudly at the Massachusetts Fisher House.  I’m so glad!

When we got back home, I contacted Jessica, the Curator at the Intrepid Museum, to get an appropriate contact for the Wounded Warrior Project.  I envisioned they might do something like give a copy of the “God Bless America” book for a donation of a certain amount of money.  Well, that story did not have a happy ending.  My kind letter to the Wounded Warrior Project (he was high up the ladder) along with the book was returned with a rather curt note of  “Not interested.  We have no use for this.”  And that was that.  I still think the soldier was right, and Wounded Warrior was wrong.  Sometimes life just goes like that.

School was nearly over.  I got a call from Beth at the Fisher House.  Apparently, when a new Fisher House is built, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients are there at the grand opening.  Can you imagine?  And then, on the one-year anniversary of a new Fisher House, there is another celebration.  Members of the Fisher family and many other guests are there.  How exciting!

I thought perhaps Beth just wanted me to know.  Then, I thought perhaps I would be on the guest list, or maybe Milly would be on the guest list.  Wrong on both counts.  Her call was far different.  I was shocked… stay tuned for Part 8.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in America, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Giving, Inspiration, military, patriotism, preschool, quilting, Singing, Teaching young children, The Arts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Milly – Part 7

  1. Norah says:

    I’m reading out of order, Jennie. But that’s okay. I can fill in the gaps and pick up when I have time to browse back. Such an inspiring story.

  2. I was tearing up again there for a bit Jennie. That was a disappointing reaction though from the Wounded Warrior Project.

  3. beetleypete says:

    The tension doesn’t stop building! Sad to hear about the Wonded Warrior Project turning you down in such a fashion. They will come to regret that decision, I am sure.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. beth says:

    I can’t wait to see what happens next –

  5. Ritu says:

    Oh, so wonderful, Jennie 🥰

  6. quiall says:

    That made me smile, it made me laugh out loud and it made me weep. And now you leave me hanging again! Damn good thing you’re cute.

  7. K.L. Hale says:

    What a beautiful continuation! It gives me goosebumps with pride for all of you each time. 💛

  8. What a wonderful welcome. I had completely forgotten, that you had also made a book. Great! I also get goose bumps. Cant await the next part. Best wishes, Jennie! Have a beautiful week! xx Michael

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks so much, Michael. I still wish that book could be in every every Fisher House for children and families who stay there, while their military loved one recovers.

      • Why not, Jennie! Isnt there a fund for this, in the USA? Perhaps a printer could be found that would be happy to reproduce this, for free? One near the US Army? 😉 I just know that the military always prints a lot of things, without ever needing them. Something like that would make a lot more sense.

      • Jennie says:

        Thanks for your ideas, Michael!

  9. I concur with the comments of your other readers–and I’m looking forward to Part 8!

  10. Dan Antion says:

    The ups and downs of this story are amazing, Jennie. Overall, a wonderful sequence of events, except for WWP, but I won’t go there.

    • Jennie says:

      You are so right, Dan! Ah, you know a bit about WWP? This occurred before they were well known and started plastering commercials on TV. I often think I should try again. Any thoughts?

      • Dan Antion says:

        I haven’t been impressed since the scandal about the CEO living a very extravagant lifestyle. I’m sure they do some good, but I no longer contribute.

      • Jennie says:

        Good to know!! That’s really terrible. I have had success going right to the top, so my new plan (thanks to you) is to contact the Fisher Foundation directly. After all, that’s my true connection, not WWP. Right? First I’ll go to Staples to see if laminated pages can be photocopied. If so, I’m golden. Thank you, Dan.

  11. Wonderful episode at The Fisher House…in an amazing story that will never end!

  12. You’re doing a very good thing here, Jennie. These children are and will continue to be proud of their country!

  13. Great, Jennie. Come on eight.

  14. Don Ostertag says:

    What a roller coaster ride. As far as Wounded Warriors, not the best way to help the disabled vets.
    It only gets 3 stars compared to 5 stars to many charities with similar goals.

    • Jennie says:

      Don, I’m so glad to hear your words. These events all happened before WWP was well known. Of course today it is plastered all over TV. Our fellow blogger Dan Antion tells me the same thing as you. So, my common sense (lightbulb moment!) is to go straight to the source, my original contact – the Fisher Foundation. Of course! My head is already spinning and far ahead. When you read Part 8, you’ll understand. Yes, throw me into another wonderful adventure!

  15. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, thank you for this wonderful series!

  16. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Here is part 7 of Jennie’s (the excellent teacher) series!

  17. petespringerauthor says:

    Like a true teacher, you carried on despite the setback with the Wounded Warrior Project. Little did they know who they were dealing with.

    • Jennie says:

      I did! And, thanks to my fellow bloggers like you, I have Plan B worked out in my head as to how to get the book into every Fisher House – go to the source and my original contact, the Fisher Foundation. You will hear more about the foundation in Part 8. Thanks, Pete!

  18. Another cliffhanger! What next?? Can’t wait! 😊

  19. Jermena says:

    We are waiting. And too bad about the Wounded warrior project. Life is sometimes like that indeed.
    Waiting for part 8🤗

  20. Wounded Warrior has done some great things… but it seems more between people that things are great. The organizational part of of the nonprofit has had a lot of PR problems in the past, Evidently — by your experience — they still are. What a shame!

    • Jennie says:

      I have been hearing this from many fellow bloggers. So, I plan to revisit getting that book into every Fisher House for children and families by going straight to the original contact- the Fisher Foundation. It always bothered me that the book sits idly when it is meant to be read and seen. Clearly the soldier who recommended the WWP meant well. Now it’s up to me. Thank you, KC.

  21. Carla says:

    This is such an inspiring story, Jennie. I had tears reading this, just thinking about all the military personnel that will get happiness and smile seeing your quilt. I can’t wait to hear what happened next.

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