I've got a personal reason for writing about Preemies of the Carolinas. Now first, most of you know I live in the Northern Adirondacks of New York State. However, my children were both born in North Carolina while my husband was serving aboard Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. When I saw that founder of Preemies of the Carolinas, Jennifer Opferman, post asking for assistance, I thought I would share the great work she is doing. First a little personal background, then a bit of what Preemies of The Carolinas do, then the good stuff, an event fiber artists can help with right now!
Jennifer Opferman has her own backstory After chatting with her on Facebook messenger it's apparent she's passionate about her work in the Carolinas. She's inspired many people to come alongside and share the work of creating special projects for the preemies in 8 hospitals! That's amazing! I'd like to share a paragraph from the "About" page on the Preemies of the Carolinas page:
"After a personal hospitalization experience, Jennifer was looking to give back and provide children in the hospital with something special from home, something handmade to provide comfort to the patient." (preemiesofthecarolinas.com/about/) Turning a personal experience into a passion for helping others is a beautiful thing!
Preemies of the Carolinas has been going and growing strong since 2015 thanks to Jennifer Opferman and her volunteers! The growth of this charity is exciting!
SIDE NOTE: Just so you know my short backstory: My sweet daughter, T.k. Wilson, was born in New Bern, North Carolina in a civilian hospital because the first Gulf War was on. All the military doctors were seconded to the front. When T.k. was born she was big enough to go home in size 3 months clothing. :) As a result in the nursery window there was my T.k.'s bassinet on one side and the isolette of a preemie baby on the other. Not sure why they did that except to show the contrast but the image has never left my mind. Years later when my daughter was still young a very good friend was blessed with a preemie for whom I was able to crochet some of my very first preemie baby clothes. I've never lost the love of crocheting and knitting for preemies 💝 This is why I wanted to write about Preemies of The Carolinas today.
Preemies of The Carolinas has very specific projects that are ongoing and also holds special events throughout the year. (you can find out about all of the exciting news by signing up for the e-newsletter!) Ongoing projects include:
Preemies of the Carolinas donates to 8 hospitals including: Novant Hemby Children’s Hospital – Charlotte, NC, Piedmont Medical Center – Rock Hill, SC, Greenville Health Children’s Hospital – Greenville, SC, Carolina’s Healthcare Pineville – Charlotte, NC, Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospitals – Concord, NC, Brenner Children’s Hospital – Winston Salem, NC, Spartanburg Regional Hospital, Spartanburg SC, and Mission Health Children's in Ashville, NC. The volunteers make some beautiful items for donation to these hospitals. Jennifer Opferman and wonderful volunteers have expanded from 1 to 8 hospitals in just 3 years! That blows my mind! Their work is so necessary. If you've ever spend time with a preemie or parents of a preemie in NICU you know what a comfort it is to have some handmade love for the infants. They are such amazing little fighters.
On top of the great work they do with the hospitals, Preemies of the Carolinas volunteers also create Preemie Packs. Each Preemie Pack item is lovingly created by volunteers and contains 2 Inspirational Hearts, hats and a blanket. It is a wonderful idea and perfect to help allay that feeling of helplessness people get when a baby is in the NICU. These can be requested through the website. There is a small cost for shipping but this is a tax deductible donation. Each Pack is full of beautiful handmade love. Below is a photo example of what the Preemie Packs contain (photo credit Jennifer Opferman):
🎆 🎇 🎇Now to the good stuff! If you sew, knit, or crochet YOU can get involved with this upcoming Event! The Fourth of July Event deadline is June 2 so if we're going to participate we need to get those sewing machines fired up to make red, white, and blue, Inspirational Hearts. Crochet hooks and knitting needles tuned up to make red, white, and blue hats! 🎇🎇 It's so cute to see babies dressed up for the holidays! More about this event can be found on the facebook page, on Instagram, on Twitter, or Send a note to Jennifer Opferman on the website's contact page.
There are a lot of volunteers fired up about this event! Because the weather is already pretty warm in much of the country it's a perfect time to go to making those adorable preemie hats. Excellent projects to carry along to ball games, days at the shore, or on vacation. (I never leave home without my crocheting/knitting) I'm sure many of you sewists out there are looking forward to lighter weight projects for summer. Look no further! The more you make, the more joy you can share! Below are a few pictures that Jennifer sent to me with permission of the babies parents.
I want to thank you all for taking the time to read the blog today AND for taking the time to help Preemies of The Carolinas! If you do not knit, crochet, or sew but still want to help there are ways to donate on the Current Needs page and Preemies of the Carolinas is NOW a 501c3 charity. Monetary donations to this page are tax deductible. My Fiber Artist friends, I want to say thanks in advance for the help I know you'll give to Jennifer Opferman. However, A BIG Thank you goes out to Jennifer Opferman and her team of volunteers for caring so much about our littlest citizens!
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**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.