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Minneapolis VA turns away quilts

MINNEAPOLIS, April 21 (UPI) -- A Minnesota charity that creates handmade quilts for military veterans said its wares are being turned away due to fears of bedbugs.

The Quilts of Valor charity said it was told by the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs quilts were no longer being accepted due to nationwide concerns about bedbugs infestations, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported Thursday.

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"We're dealing with new fabrics, people take this very seriously, everything is kept clean, there is no contact where it would get something like that," said Page Johnson, the southern Minnesota coordinator for Quilts of Valor. "Bedbugs come from humans using the quilts and they are not used, they are new. I can assure you we are not using these things and giving away used items."

However, the Minneapolis VA said the quilts are being rejected because there is no more room for donations.

"Thanks to your skill, talents and dedication to helping our hospitalized veterans of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, we have an overabundant supply of lap robes, quilts, blankets, neck pillows, armrest pillows, heart pillows, slippers and laundry bags," Katharina Ryan, director of the Voluntary/Community Resource Center of the Minneapolis VA, wrote in an April 6 letter to quilters. "We are unable to accept any of these items until further notice."

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