Close up of the customized Operation Kid Comfort quilt square with a child's name and partent's branch of service

Operation Kid Comfort

“Their fear is not losing their lives;
their fear is not being remembered by their children.”

Operation Kid Comfort is celebrating 20 years of helping military children connect with their active-duty parent during deployment.

Founded in 2004 by military mom and volunteer founder Ann Flaherty to soothe her grandchildren from missing their dad, now dozens of dedicated volunteers lovingly create custom hand-crafted photo-transfer quilts and pillowcases to help children cope with the stress and loneliness that comes with separation from their deployed parent. Thousands of quilts and pillowcases have been distributed around the country. Read the story of how Operation Kid Comfort quilts helped a Gold Star military family through the loss of a deployed father.

In 2023, Operation Kid Comfort expanded at ASYMCA Hampton Roads with the addition of “Lovies,” a keepsake stuffed animal that can be filled with photos and mementos of the deployed parent.

My sister came home from the hurricane evacuation to find a beautiful quilt. It had her in tears to come home to such comfort. My nephew has had a very difficult time during his father’s deployment and none of the experts on base could help. My sister was told he was too young to know that his father was gone, but we all know that isn’t true. The letter saying it is okay to cry and miss him really helped both of them. This good work means the world to the people you are helping. Thank you. Military Family Member, Operation Kid Comfort

About This Military Family Service

  • Quilts are made for children, ages 0-6; a standard-size quilted pillowcase is made for children ages 7-12.
  • Each quilt/pillowcase includes 5-9 photos depicting favorite memories of, or with, the deploying/deployed parent.
  • One quilt/pillowcase per child.
  • Families are not required to wait to submit a request until the service member is actively deployed. Requests can be submitted once orders for deployment have been issued.
  • This program is open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, regardless of rank or Service branch.
  • Requests must include be current orders to deploy and submitted by an eligible Service member, and immediate family member for Command.
  • Additional eligibility requirements and submission instructions may vary by location, so please review the information before submitting a request.
  • Military families not stationed at one of the participating ASYMCA Branches or YMCA location listed below, but otherwise meet eligibility requirements, you may apply through the ASYMCA Camp Pendleton Branch on a “as available” basis.
  • Choose the appropriate number of photos to submit for your child’s quilt/pillowcase (up to nine (9) photos per quilt or five (5) photos for pillowcases). These photos must depict the deploying service member. We suggest choosing portraits, family photos or other photos that capture favorite memories.
  • Photos must be high-quality to print clearly at sizes up to 8″ x 10″ (minimum should be approximately 1600 x 2000 pixels).
  • JPG or PNG file formats are preferred.

If you are stationed at a military installation served by ASYMCA Branches: Alaska, Camp Pendleton, Hampton Roads, Killeen or Fort Liberty; or the Pikes Peak Region YMCA, click the tile below and follow instructions on how to submit a request. Only military families stationed at these locations will be served by the local branch.

If you are stationed anywhere else in the continental United States and Hawaii, then select the “Camp Pendleton” option below and volunteer quilters will fulfill nationwide requests as availability allows.

Participating Locations

ASYMCA ALASKA

Open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve families based anywhere in the state of Alaska.

Submit Request

ASYMCA CAMP PENDLETON

Open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve families based at Camp Pendleton and all other installations in the continental U.S. and Hawaii.

Submit Request

ASYMCA FORT LIBERTY

Open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve families based at Fort Liberty.

Submit Request

ASYMCA HAMPTON ROADS

Open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve families based at installations in the Hampton Roads region.

Submit Request

ASYMCA KILLEEN

Open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve families based at Fort Cavazos.

Submit Request

PIKES PEAK REGION YMCA

Open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve families based anywhere in the state of Colorado.

Submit Request

Get Involved

Share Your Talent

We need more volunteers! Help bring comfort to military children experienceing separation from a deployed parent by volunteering your quliting skills.

Volunteer with Us
A quliter miters a corner on a sewing machine to a patriotic themed quilt

Comfort a Military Child

The Armed Services YMCA is committed to expanding this volunteer-led initiative. For just $100, help us invest in the emotional health and well-being of a military child.

Give Today
Youn girl from a Gold Star family sleeps under her Kid Comfort Quilt