Residents James Gribble (left) and Mike Neal, World War II veterans brought together by the quilts

Three years ago, Red Bank Church of Christ in Red Bank, Tennessee, started a ministry called Threads of Love.

 

This ministry was created to provide intergenerational fellowship, skill development and service to the community. Mike Goodson leads this ministry and devotes countless hours of service to make these efforts thrive, serving multiple communities in the Chattanooga area.

 

Threads of Love provides warm, handmade, free quilts to patients in oncology treatments, dialysis clinics and at Life Care Center of Hixson, Tennessee.

 

Josh Haislip, director of rehab at Life Care Center of Hixson, is a member of Red Bank Church of Christ and immediately thought about the blessing that these beautifully crafted quilts could be for the patients at his facility. He has partnered with Goodson and the many talented individuals involved in the ministry to provide warmth, love and joy to patients over the last few years.

 

So far, Threads of Love has donated more than 100 quilts to Life Care Center of Hixson and blessed the lives of many people as they complete their rehabilitation.

 

“I am extremely blessed to be able to deliver these quilts to our patients,” said Haislip. “The joy and happiness that this ministry has provided our patients is difficult to put into words. During the holidays, when so many patients are experiencing various emotions due to separation from family and recent injuries, I am able to provide them with a present that is sewn with love and care. Each blanket is stitched with verses of the Bible that aid in inspiration.”

 

The quilts have been used in many capacities. Life Care Center of Hixson has given Valentine’s Day-themed quilts for special prizes, matched certain hobbies of patients to the design on the gifted quilts, celebrated birthdays and many holidays and even brought two World War II veterans together through this quilt ministry: James Gribble and Mike Neal.

 

“Mike and some folks from church had finished two patriotic quilts, and we immediately knew two gentlemen in the building who would be great recipients of those,” said Haislip. “We brought those two together, and they were very pleased and thankful. They actually bonded.”

 

Gribble served in the Army Air Forces as an aerial gunner on a B24. He discharged as a staff sergeant.

 

“I like my blanket on my chair to stay warm, and on my bed,” said Gribble. “I enjoy saluting another veteran, being friendly.”

 

Neal served as a jet engine mechanic and flew supplies to troops in Africa, mainland Europe, Scotland and Newfoundland. He served the Navy for 21 years and was involved with the Bay of Pigs. He was a chief petty officer.

 

“I was really glad to meet another World War II veteran,” said Neal.

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