Hometown Hero | Nila Beckett

Hometown Hero | Nila Beckett
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:46 PM EST
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BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - One woman in Cabell County has dedicated more than a year of her life to honoring veterans.

85 year-old Nila Beckett from Barbousville crochets prayer shawls for veterans in the Hospice House in Huntington.

“It’s good to have someone in our community that has a servant’s heart,” said Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum.

She’s spent more than two decades crocheting blankets for newborns and organizations that needed them, but in the last few years she dedicated her work to the veterans, making more than 400 of the shawls.

“I feel like they (veterans) have done a lot for me and they are very special to me,” said Nila Beckett.

She has a special place in her heart for veterans as her family has a long tradition of service.

“Her youngest brother served in Vietnam. She had a brother that was in the navy. My dad was in the army I served,” said her eldest son, Jerry Beckett.

The hospice house places the prayer shawls over veterans’ laps and some families use them during their funerals.

“I’ve had people come to me and say we used your mother’s prayer shawl at my dad’s funeral or my brother’s funeral,” said Jerry. “It means so much to those families that she would care enough to do that to put the time, in that it takes to do that but she truly has a servant’s heart.”

Her name is on each one, so the families know who made the prayer shawl.

“Quite a few of the veterans families send me a thank you note and how much they appreciate it,” said Nila.

Nila, not putting in the work for praise, just doing what she’s always done, putting everyone before herself.

“I can’t say enough about your community service and to Barboursville and the over 400 people that you have done prayer shawls for the hospice house in Huntington, for Lily’s Place and so many others. We love you for being a part of our community, so I’m so honored to be able to present you on behalf of WSAZ the Hometown Hero award. I love you,” said Tatum.

Nila says she has no plans on slowing down and will continue to make the shawls until she physically cannot.

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