I would love to say that I am starting a Non-Profit Organization…but the legalities involved in such an endeavor are a bit beyond my reach. So, for now, I am just doing my best with what I have. Having had a preemie myself, I know how hard the time spent in NICU is. I was blessed to only have to spend 2 weeks in NICU with my son. I can only imagine how much harder it is for parents who spend months there.
My 11 yr old daughter has just started sewing and together we will be putting together care packages for our new NICU unit at Western Baptist, here in Paducah, KY. This is a six bed, level 2 NICU unit. These care packages will include quilts and small laundry bags. Any Cotton or Flannel fabric, that you can donate, can be used for these. If we begin receiving more donations than what Western Baptist can handle..(I am expecting this..even from myself)..I will be delivering to Lexington, KY and Nashville, TN neonatal units.
My son was a preemie and I know how much it meant to me to receive the small items that I did. Anything that can help these parents through such a rough time is much appreciated. If you are willing to donate your time to make blankets…The goal is to make a quilt approximately 22″ square. Sometimes they are a little larger and sometimes a little smaller, depending on the design of the fabric but I usually use ½ of the fabric width (44” fabric) for the backing and by the time I take ¼ inch seams, the quilt is finished at 21 ½ inches. Cotton batting in the center…Polyester batting is too fluffy and these quilts are frequently placed under the babies and need to be sturdy and flat. Machine quilt for durability as these will be washed often. If you cannot do the quilting part..just put them together and I will do the rest.
If you prefer to make larger quilts to be placed on top of babies unit these are welcome also. Once the baby receives the quilt, it belongs to him/her and they get to take it home. Laundry bags are approx. 10″x6″…Plenty of room for those little preemie clothes from home, so that they don’t get mixed into the hospital laundry..never to be seen again. And they are nice to place on the crib at home.
If you have any other items that could be put in care packages for these parents that would be great. Ideas include:
*Lotion (lots of hand washing in NICU),
*New books (reading to baby is soothing to parents and babies),
*Soothing Music Cds,
*Aquaphor baby wash (much gentler on baby’s fragile skin than what the hospital has and they will let you use it),
*Snacks (it is sometimes hard to get away for a snack…nice to have it close),
*Hair Ties (for those moms with long hair, sometimes you forget to bring the simplest things)
*Disposable Cameras (one of the biggest regrets of parents with babies from NICU is that they didn’t get pictures..they didn’t have a camera)
*Scrapbook or Baby book…even a simple notebook to help parents keep track of all the things that happen.
Thank you in advance for your incredible contributions to the care and comfort of the smallest, sickest and most vulnerable babies and their families. Your contributions make the intensive care nursery an appropriately loving, soft and lovely place. Although the families and babies are experiencing a very stressful time in their lives, your contributions let them know they are special, they are loved, and that they are receiving heartfelt encouragement, prayers, and positive thoughts. Your generous contributions of resources, time, talent and love reach out to these families and babies and touch them for a lifetime.
I can meet to pick up donations in Paducah..preferably at the Kmart parking lot on exit 4..I can also pick up on exit 7 if needed. I would like to get donations by the 20th of every month as I have to wash them, package them and deliver by the 1st. Please contact me with any questions at 270-415-5193 or 575-390-3450. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will accept donations from anywhere! 🙂 If you would like to mail donations…let me know.