Our Saviour parishioner brings love, prayers to veterans through personal, colorful cards
MORGAN COUNTY — Opening up a personal letter from a friend is always special. But when you receive a creative, colorful card from a stranger who recognizes the value of you, it’s extra special. That’s what 82-year-old Lin Beeley, a parishioner at Our Saviour Parish in Jacksonville, has been doing for years — creating original cards with personal messages of thanks, prayer, and joy to veterans at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
“All good ideas come from the same source, the Good Lord,” Beeley said.
Beeley uses five original designs she developed using the zentangle method, which uses different patterns, called tangles. Those tangles can be lines, curves, dots, and orbs. With those five designs, she then colors them with sakura pens, typically in a theme of red, white, and blue. These are then sent to Faith Printing in Jacksonville and mailed off to the Illinois Veterans Home. She has created nearly a 100 over the years.
“Sometimes, I may spend three evenings on one design, or I may get one in a couple of hours,” Beeley said. “It depends on the amount of detail.”
So why does Beeley do this? First, she credits our Catholic faith.
“I think God gives us a path for us to follow, and we have the free will to follow it,” Beeley said. “My parents and the Dominican nuns at Our Saviour School instilled in me the love of Jesus and living that out.”
She also says years ago, she saw a news article that said veterans feel forgotten. So, the Illinois Veterans Home came to her mind and this card idea to support veterans.
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs recently recognized Beeley for her efforts, writing to her in May.
“We would like to thank you on behalf of all the residents and staff at the Illinois Veterans’ Home for your donation of personalized thank you cards to our veterans,” wrote Sara Colgrove, the director of Activities and Volunteer Services. “Be assured your donation will be utilized and is greatly appreciated. Your act of kindness shows how much our veterans are loved, respected, and remembered. Thank you for supporting your veterans at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.”
“When I received this letter, I was in shock, absolute shock,” Beeley said. “Over the years, I generally didn’t get many responses. I am not doing this for thanks, but sometimes it’s nice to have acknowledgement. If I can make one veteran’s life have a positive focus for just a little while, that is why I do it.”
Beeley is also known as a prayer warrior. Every morning, she says prayers before she leaves her bed. One of those prayers is the simple and powerful prayer, “Jesus, I trust in You.” She also has a prayer list with countless family, friends, fellow parishioners, and strangers on her list.
“Just give me your first name, and I will add it my prayer list,” Beeley said. “You can get on my list, but you can’t get off. If God can keep track of the lilies in the field, he knows who is on my prayer list.”