Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Volunteering: Stars For Our Troops

Since moving to Albany, it has been a bit of an adjustment meeting people. I LOVE my coworkers, but I am the only full time staff member that doesn't have children. And while I will still gladly hang out with everyone, happy hours occur sporadically and nights out don't happen very often,ever.  Last week I finally updated my profile to Albany, instead of DC and spent a decent amount of time checking out the different clubs and joining a few.  I joined 4 to be realistic about what type of meetups I would actually attend.   (Capital Beer Enthusiast, Capital District Volunteer, Hiking Mates of the Capital Region, and LLBean Albany Outing Group)  

As the end of the month approaches and my draft of my new years resolution post begins being written I felt under pressure to get another volunteering activity in, since I've been saying "I'll catch up in the summer" nearly all year so the first event I RSVP'ed to was Stars For Our Troops.   

stolen photo that someone uploaded to our meet up page. Ladies hard at work!
The organization receives retired flags which are cut to give the stars to current and veteran military members.  But they certainly don't let any of the flag go to waste. Some members of this group are accomplished quilters and are using the stripes to create lap quilts for veterans and the small clippings from trimming the stars are used to stuff pillows that are also made out of stripes.  I haven't seen what those end products look like yet, but I think it is a very cool way to resuse the flags.  

After a busy day of errands for school, lunch with an old friend, I made my way to the American Legion where the group was meeting for the week. We were given a few instructions (ie cut from point to point on the stars to create a pentagon) scissors and left to our own devices.  Those that knew each other instantly went into chatting away and small talk filled the room. The group was primary women (although there were a few men) and a range of ages.  

before being trimmed down 
The time passed quickly and before I knew it, it had been 2 hours and I had cut 200 stars to be sent to the troops.  I will definitely return, it is a very relaxed group and such a friendly atmosphere. With so many of my friends from my life in San Diego being active duty military, it is a small way I could give back to those who serve.

Related Reading:


  1. What a great way to give back! I had never heard of anything like this being done with retired flags.

  2. It sounds like an awesome cause and experience. Volunteering is so good for the soul!