Eau Claire (WQOW) - On Wednesday's, the Water Street American Legion is growing accustomed to a new sound. It's not a golden oldie on the jukebox or a call for another round; it's the sound of sewing machines. Nearly a dozen women take over their hall to sew for a good cause.
Eau Claire's Water Street is a buzz with the Wednesday hum of sewing machines from the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 53.
"We've been sewing together since 2009," Jane Dale of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 53 says.
One quilt for each of the 160 Western Wisconsin troops who are being deployed to Afghanistan this spring.
"They're very loyal to the cause and very dedicated," Dale says.
40 percent are these troops are women, who are lacking some basic supplies, like feminine hygiene products.
"If they're available for sale, there is a limited quantity and a limited selection," Gloria Hochstein, ALA Unit 53's President says.
Also, bobby pins, hair conditioner, lotion, and nail polish, just to name a few.
"It had to be clear for their fingers but they could put their toes any color that they wanted. It made them feel more feminine," Hochstein says.
And they'll need something to carry it all in.
"They said they'll just get plastic bags but they wear out," Hochstein says.
So the women started making camouflage shower bags too.
While the unit's focus may be on women, the reason for their support may lead back to the men in their lives.
"When he came back into the country and landed in San Francisco, they told him to take his uniform off so he didn't get beat up or spit on. That's not right. I can't do it for my husband because he's already home but I'm doing it for the rest of the young people who are giving up their life," Dale says.
"It just plain feels great to know that I'm sitting here, sewing something with love that's going to be used by one of our soldiers. I don't know them and they don't know my but they can be assured that this was sewed with care and thoughts of them," Hochstein says.
The materials to make each blanket cost $25 and the tote bag, with supplies, costs around $75. The group is hoping to raise $5,000 to help cover costs.
If you'd like to help, donation can be sent to Jane Dale at 1512 Emery St., Eau Claire, WI 54701. Checks need to be made out to American Legion Auxiliary Unit 53.