BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Quilting for Renee Hoeprich is driven by her love for the community.
"We sort of get to bring our own individuality into the quilt-making," said Renee Hoeprich, President of The Giving Quilt. "We really are sharing a part of ourselves when we make these quilts."
That's what prompted her to start the charitable, nonprofit 'The Giving Quilt' ten years ago, sewing comfort into every seam.
"It would be a whole lot easier if we just went and bought blankets, but it's just a different feel to it, in terms of the community involvement," Hoeprich said.
The 30-year quilter said the majority of their fabrics are donated by the community and considered scraps that are transformed into customized quilts, for free.
"There's so much creativity in what we can do," she said.
Saturday morning the group's investment in the community expanded to honor two veterans at Sunrise Senior Living.
In partnership with Louisiana Women Veterans, Hoeprich honored Lillian Hoover and Vera Nuschler with a Quilt of Valor for their dedication to serving. Hoover said she enlisted in 1944 and left for the Navy on her 20th birthday.
"(I) never looked back and I wouldn't," she said. "I just enjoyed every minute of it."
Anna Sanders, President of Louisiana Women Veterans said as a veteran herself, continuing to honor servicemembers of important.
"Yes, we served our country but when other people recognize and thank us, that means a lot to us," Sanders said.
Hoover enlisted with the Navy as a personnel supervisor, overseeing the barracks. Nuschler enlisted with the Marines, even making contact at one point with Navajo code talkers.
"I was anxious to serve my country," Nuschler said. "I wasn't old enough so I sent for my birth certificate, forged it that I would be able to serve," she explained.
"One of the special things were the friendships that you make in the service and they last long beyond the time of service," Hoover said.
Both veterans said they were surprised to receive the quilts since they were only doing what they felt was right, Nuschler would encourage every woman to do the same.
"By all means, if she's willing to give up her life and give it all to her country, enlist," Nuschler said.
Quick fact about one of those veterans, Ms. Nuschler, she tells us after leaving the Marines she went to Tulane University and later became the first woman to graduate with an undergraduate degree in math.