Neck warmers and cool ties for our soldiers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Neck warmers and cool ties for our soldiers

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by Danielle Wagner

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) Since 2003, an organization called "Iowa's Bravest" in Waterloo has sent appreciation boxes to our servicemen and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To date, more than 2500 boxes have been shipped. The boxes include food and clothing items and are sent each year in November in time for the holidays.

Numerous volunteers help fill the boxes. Donna Schmitt and about ten others at Windridge Retirement Community in Cedar Falls sewed these neck warmers and cool ties.

The women used the library at Windridge to sew and iron the items.

"We really got a lot done. It was like an assembly line, and I know we stitched 50 in just a little more than an hour," said Donna Schmitt.

In total, they sewed 74 neck warmers and 175 cool ties. The cool ties contain polymer beads and swell up with water to keep the neck cool

Donna Schmitt got the Happy Stitchers Sewing Club at Windridge involved with this project because she has a special connection to the cause.

"I have a grandson that's deployed for the second time to Iraq," said Schmitt.

Her grandson Ryan is part of the 445th which left Waterloo in June. Schmitt made a cool tie and neck warmer especially embroidered for her grandson.

"He asked me how we were doing. He said it's starting to turn cold," she said.

Thanks to volunteers, Ryan Schmitt and hundreds of other Iowa soldiers should have neck warmers in time for Christmas.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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