AUSTIN, Texas — On a chilly December day, the Llano chapter of Quilts of Valor drove an hour to make a special delivery in Austin.
It's something they've done nearly 600 times in the past five years.
Their quilts go to veterans or service members.
Bettsye Rose knows this one is special.
"It's where our hearts are," she said. "It's just some small way of saying thank you for their service."
Quilt in hand, Rose is followed by fellow volunteers Linda Lively, Annita Wellborn and Vernell Bradley. They're ready to surprise a special veteran.
They are greeted by daughter Mary Spence, who let them inside her North Austin home.
"Hi," Rose said to an older lady sitting in a chair.
That lady is Evelyn Tucker, who turns 100 years old on Dec. 14.
"We understand you're having a birthday soon," Rose said.
"Yeah," said Tucker.
"Well, happy birthday!" said Rose.
The ladies with the Quilts of Valor wanted Tucker to have one of their blankets after seeing her story on KVUE.
"Oh I think it's wonderful," said Tucker.
She loves the quilt.
"Oh, I like them all," she said, referring to the red, cream and blue patterns.
In fact, she can't stop looking, touching or talking about it.
"It has some hearts on it," said Tucker.
"Look at that, little itty, tiny hearts," said Rose. "Your eyes are better than mine are. I never even knew those hearts were there."
When KVUE last visited with Tucker, her family was asking the community to send her birthday cards. They had hoped to get 100 or so.
Spence said the response has been unbelievable.
"We're at over 1,800, and I cannot believe the response from people – every state in the United States," said Spence.
Cards came from all over the world too: Germany, Belgium, Guam, France, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Since there is no way Spence can write that many thank you cards, she has a message for the well-wishers.
"I just want to tell everybody thank you so much," said Spence.
That's what the Quilts of Valor ladies are doing.
"Happy birthday and thank you so much for your service," said the ladies to Tucker as they hugged her.
"Thank you, I appreciate it," said Tucker.
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