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Kristine Lindsay: Operation Snuggle

When Kristine Lindsay's son was deployed to Iraq in 2005, she knew it would be hard on his three young sons. "I saw the sadness in the boys' eyes when their daddy left for Iraq, and I needed something to do. All I knew was quilting," she says. 

The next day, Kristine brought an idea to five of her quilting friends: "I asked if anyone was interested in helping me make quilts for the children of our soldiers from Wisconsin." Her idea blossomed into Operation Snuggle, which now consists of 80 dedicated quilters. 

Operation Snuggle has made Gold Star quilts for the Wisconsin families of fallen heroes, and has embarked on a mission to make bed-size quilts for the 500 injured soldiers from the state. 

While the quilters of Operation Snuggle never meet the families -- the Military FRG leaders pass them out in order to protect their privacy -- the kids who receive their quilts are always told it's a hug from Mom or Dad. 

With 3,000 quilts to their name, the members of Operation Snuggle know there's still work to be done. "Wisconsin has 1,500 men leaving this fall, and another 3,000 around the holidays," Kristine says. "We will continue our project until every soldier's child has a quilt, and all the wounded and Gold Star families receive their quilts."

See Kristine's Photo Diary

Comments (33)

  • z87126 12 Nov, 2008

    Kris-you are wonderful. I too have having trouble voting and adding comments. Its too bad. But I hope this time it gets in....I am a Marine mom and I can tell you that when your brave soldier is gone...every minute of your life here in the states you worry and wonder...every minute of every day . This is the most comforting thing I can think of in a time of need. I totally support you!

  • quiltingkelly 12 Nov, 2008

    Kris, I am so proud of you going so far in this endeavor!!!

  • yzarc 12 Nov, 2008

    I have recived one of these Quilts while deployed over seas and it was great idea. Many of the soldiers I server with use there every day. It would be nice to see some more funds go in to this to give the Soldiers and there children a taste of home.
    Ken :)

  • Nellythenewf 5 Nov, 2008

    I have made several quilts for Operation Snuggles. I know Kris and would like others to know about her contribution. She is a motivator and tireless champion of this project. She has involved High School students to take this on as a community project. Young and old have had the priveledge to be involved in this ongoing tribute to the mothers and fathers that are serving our country thanks to her dedication.

  • jawarn 4 Nov, 2008

    I am proud of you mother for starting snuggles and taking care of our soldiers and their families. I know it means a lot to them. I hope you can eventually spread Operation Snuggles in all 50 states because it is needed. Great job!

  • dottiestel 3 Nov, 2008

    I met Chris this weekend at a quilter's retreat. I was very impressed with the organization and networking she has brought to this project. I know that I will be donating a quilt to the project.
    Good job Kris
    Dottie from the Retreat

  • KathleenSTolleson 2 Nov, 2008

    Hi Christine from Wisconsin, I grew up in Northern Minnesota so feel a kindred spirit. I have always admired the sacrifices military families make, not just the men and women who serve but their children and extended families. It would be wonderful if there was an Operation Snuggle in every state! Kathy Tolleson

  • VBRn 1 Nov, 2008

    I am so impressed and proud of my best friend's mom -for coming up with such a wonderful, selfless idea to support our troops! She is an inspiration to us all in her tireless efforts to bring security and warmth to our military families. Great job!

  • quiltingkelly 31 Oct, 2008

    It has truly been an honor to be able to participate along with Kris on her mission of Operation Snuggles. The Quilting Angels know what an noble cause this is and there is no greater gift than that of a smile from a child.

  • stenteach 27 Oct, 2008

    Operation Snuggle brings such comfort to so many--Kris and Operation Snuggle so deserve this honor. I too had difficulty voiting today.

    May God Bless Our Troops and Operation Snuggle for their contributions.

  • stenteach 27 Oct, 2008

    Operation Snuggle brings such comfort to so many--Kris and Operation Snuggle so deserve this honor. I too had difficulty voiting today.

    May God Bless Our Troops and Operation Snuggle for their contributions.

  • eidoj 27 Oct, 2008

    I have tried to vote for 2days and your name is checked when I go to vote.and it still says 21 votes.
    I wish Marthas people could fix this!
    Your group is doing such a great a thing.

  • lorabeth84 25 Oct, 2008

    My family recieved 3 blankets for our children during this deployment of the 432nd CA BN. These blankets are amazing, the kids just fell in love with them right away because they came from "Daddy's work". Our youngest, Lindsay didn't really get to spend much time with our soldier before he deployed to Iraq because she was born before deployment but then was placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and remained there for a few weeks after the soldiers had left. Thank you for all you do!

  • OpSnugWi 20 Oct, 2008

    432nd CA BN FRG Kris please forwar to Martha Stewart we have difficulity iin voting and wrting comentsSeveral of our Families benefited from Kris Operation Snuggle and the wonderful quilts they had made for the Children of the deployed. Many of these families had newborns during deployment. We would like to show Kris our appreciation aand for Operation Snuggle Chris Schroeder 432nd Civil Affairs Batt FRG Iasked Kris to pass this on We are hacving trouble voting and addin coments

  • OpSnugWi 20 Oct, 2008

    432nd CA BN FRG Kris please forwar to Martha Stewart we have difficulity iin voting and wrting comentsSeveral of our Families benefited from Kris Operation Snuggle and the wonderful quilts they had made for the Children of the deployed. Many of these families had newborns during deployment. We would like to show Kris our appreciation aand for Operation Snuggle Chris Schroeder 432nd Civil Affairs Batt FRG Iasked Kris to pass this on We are hacving trouble voting and addin coments

  • forever39 18 Oct, 2008

    Thank you for all you do. Those children and families are very lucky to have you as part of their lives. What a wonderful idea. What a great hug.

  • csm61055 17 Oct, 2008

    I participate as a quilter in Operation Snuggles.As a new quilter it takes me a ver ylong time to complete a quilt,It is truly amazing to see the beauty and know the comfort these quilts bring. I have read several thank you letters from families and they always bring tears to my eyes seeing how much this affects the kids and spouses. It is a small thing compared to the sacrifice these families are making.

  • Jackielewin 17 Oct, 2008

    Thank you so much for supporting the military families in a time of need. Its just the little things like this that gives you hope in the world !!! Thanks !!
    From a Marine Mom !!

  • perculator 15 Oct, 2008

    thank you grandma.. love your boys I.R.A

  • perculator 15 Oct, 2008

    I think this is a wonderful thing your doing making children and families remember their loved ones. So many people forget our military who is fighting for us everyday and its a shame. Without them who knows what would happen. I think that actually I know the kids really miss their parent or parents and to hug a quilt every night thinking of mom or dad is the best thing we could do, I know because my husband was over in Iraq and with prayers and a quilt my boys went to sleep peacefully. Thanks

  • suziequin 15 Oct, 2008

    Kris,
    Thank you for all you are doing for our Warriors and families. My son is a US Marine in Hawaii and my other son is in the US Coast Gurad.I know what love is put into these quilts. I am not a sewer by any stretch but I did learn quickly to help with quilts squares for our fallen Warriors families. I would like to say a heartfelt thanks for all you and the others have done in Operation Snuggle.
    Semper Fi Suz

  • suziequin 15 Oct, 2008

    Kris,
    Thank you for all you are doing for our Warriors and families. My son is a US Marine in Hawaii and my other son is in the US Coast Gurad.I know what love is put into these quilts. I am not a sewer by any stretch but I did learn quickly to help with quilts squares for our fallen Warriors families. I would like to say a heartfelt thanks for all you and the others have done in Operation Snuggle.
    Semper Fi Suz

  • kdwi 14 Oct, 2008

    Since 2005, I have helped to distrubute hundreds of Operation Snuggle quilts to the military kids of our deployed tropps. To see the smiles of the children and the tears of the parent at home is humbling. Those who have received a Gold Star quilt are speechless and thankful - I don't believe one has been delivered without tears of gratitude, the same for the Wounded Warrior quilts. These beatuiful quilts are wonderful and the quilters are awesome. Proud to be a part of Op Snuggle.

  • JHL643 14 Oct, 2008

    The many hours that the dedicated volunteers have put in producing beautiful and memorable quilts are all paid for by the smile and or tears from those they are given to. All are to be commended for their unselfish investment of time and materials.

  • tweber 14 Oct, 2008

    Kris and her girls are true gifts to our soldiers and our country. This is a real example of self-giving that symbolizes what has made America great for over 200 years. Betsy Ross would be proud of these quilters!

  • Appliqueen 14 Oct, 2008

    I am the daughter of a Korean Conflict Vet and I have taken great joy in quilting many of the Op. Snuggle quilt tops. Knowing the power of a quilt in times of sadness and joy lets me share my pride in my country and its military service members. God Bless America!

  • janzencarla 14 Oct, 2008

    My husband is one of those WI troops going to Iraq soon. We have three young children and I am so grateful for Kris and Operation Snuggle! We are in the process of aranging for all the children in my husbands unit to recieve a quilt from Operation Snuggles. I know that this will be a help and a great way for the kids to know that people care about them and how they feel. THANK YOU OPERATION SNUGGLES!!!!!

  • OpSnugWi 13 Oct, 2008

    I would like to Thank the quilters who have helped make the beautiful quilts for our Military children and wounded soliders. As of today i packed up our 4000 quilt.I know we have many more to do since 3500 are leaving WI for war. The quilters have given so generously their time and fabric for our project. There arent enough words to Thank You OpSnug

  • OpSnugWi 13 Oct, 2008

    I would like to Thank the quilters who have helped make the beautiful quilts for our Military children and wounded soliders. As of today i packed up our 4000 quilt.I know we have many more to do since 3500 are leaving WI for war. The quilters have given so generously their time and fabric for our project. There arent enough words to Thank You OpSnug

  • l1onheart 13 Oct, 2008

    So many bumper magnets showing support for our troops and here is someone who put that support into a real 'hug!' Quilters are truly generous, warm, caring, compassionate people as evidenced by Kris' efforts and organization to show support for our troops. Keep up the effort and continue to inspire us all.

  • redgrace 13 Oct, 2008

    When Michael was deployed again with three young kids at home - all of whom Grandma Kris cared for so their Mom could work - "Grandma" was devastated but got into action. I have seen her work first hand - and the one woman quilt factory in the basement! At first our family thought this would be be a short lived project but we are so proud of her continually commitment to the lives she has touched around the world and the snuggles that have ensued!

  • SOSTricia 9 Oct, 2008

    I can validate the power of a quilt. When my daughter died (4/1/07), one of my neighbors asked me for some of her favorite t-shirts (my daughter LIVED in oversized t-shirts and especially loved tye-died) and made a quilt with each shirt as a square. I sleep with it every night and if I travel by car, I always take it with me. It is full of memories and brings me joy.

    Fellow "Doer", Tricia Fragen of Normal Moments

  • pixie78 8 Oct, 2008

    Lovely idea, I love the part where the kids are told it's a hug from mom or dad!