From participating in pot luck suppers to taking a turn hosting the monthly coffee chat to her regular swims in the community pool, England Oaks resident Marge Harrington describes her life as full of joy. But Marge's favorite activity is one that gives back to military service members and war veterans.
"I have been a member of Quilts of Valor for about five years," Marge said. "It's what I love!"
Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national organization that awards quality quilts (machine or handmade) to service members or veterans who have been touched by war. "The quilts are our way of saying 'thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation,'" Marge said.
Marge is a member of Glenmora Bobbins in Rapides Parish, one of the nearly 500 quilting groups around the country associated with the national organization. "The group, which was established in 2015, that I'm in realized how many service members we had living in the area including at England Oaks, so we decided to do something for them," she said.
Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 by Catherine Roberts whose son was deployed in Iraq at the time. She said the idea came to her in a dream about how a simple quilt could help lift up service members and veterans who were in despair. "The message of my dream was: quilts = healing," Catherine stated on the Quilts of Valor Foundation website.
Marge moved to England Oaks after a leisurely drive around Alexandria led her and her husband to the community.
"Being here in person made all of the difference. Oh my gosh, this is gorgeous I thought. We loved the cozy homes and winding streets. People were outside walking their dogs and enjoying life."
Marge moved in the following spring after her husband passed away. She lived in a large house that she could not maintain so the idea of low-maintenance living in a social atmosphere was very appealing to her. And when she arrived, she was surprised at who she found there.
"It turns out I reconnected with several old friends," Marge said. "I had no idea they were living here. That was such a plus!" Marge did not limit herself to a small group of friends, however. She soon expanded her horizons at the community's famous monthly resident potluck suppers and coffee chats.
Seven years after first laying eyes on England Oaks, Margie is as content as ever. "I never imagined a leisurely Sunday drive one autumn day would turn into a life filled with so much joy."
About England Oaks
England Oaks is an active senior community of cozy retirement homes with shady tree-lined streets and plenty to do. Offering a carefree retirement lifestyle, England Oaks allows you to focus on the things most important to you.
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