Since The Quilt’s inception, volunteers have been critical to its ongoing growth and care. More than nine thousand volunteers across the United States helped the traveling crew display The Quilt on its first national tour. At the 1996 display in Washington, D.C., more than eight thousand volunteers were on hand to cover the National Mall with The Quilt between the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol.
At all major displays, volunteers help to lay out The Quilt every morning and fold it up for safekeeping every night. Hand Maidens of The Quilt provide quick repairs on panels. Docents monitor it, ensuring that it is not damaged, and they help visitors through the emotional process of experiencing The Quilt.