Today is Father's day, and its also a GREAT day to celebrate those remarkable Preemie babies who, every day amaze us with their resilience. My own Grandmother, if you'll recall, was born at 3 pounds in 1903! Yes she was loved, and she was a fighter. Today, there are some dads and moms spending the day with their preemies at a NICU near you. In fact we have a friend doing that very thing today. So Happy Father's day to them!
I chose The Preemie Project for 2 reasons. The first is that they have a 10 year history of doing great work for preemie babies in Iowa. Its important that a charity have a solid track record. And I also have long time friends living not far from Des Moines, one of whom is a nurse who also happens to knit. She's got a pretty spectacular life story! So H.S.R this is for you.
The Preemie Project started in the Spring of 2005 by Laura Pabich (Aker). Its difficult getting a project like this off the ground let alone keep it going for 10 years! Let me quote directly from their website. Let the full impact hit you the way it hit me! "The Preemie Project was founded in the spring of 2005 by Coralville, Iowa native, Laura Pabich (Aker). Laura wanted to use her passion for knitting to help others. After a suggestion from her mother, Laura decided to knit booties for the local children’s hospital, University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. After making contact with the staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Laura learned that they would need hats, booties and blankets for over 900 infants each year. Inspired to help warm these tiny heads and feet, Laura summoned individuals on blogs, online message boards, and email lists to join her in knitting and crocheting for premature and critically ill patients. From those invitations, The Preemie Project was born.
In 2006, The Preemie Project’s Board of Directors was formed. With their passion and guidance, The Preemie Project has grown into a statewide organization with the mission of providing support and comfort to preterm and critically ill infants in Iowa Neonatal Intensive Care Units. We strive to meet the unique needs of the tiniest Iowa citizens and their families. With this expansion came the formation of new programs like our Family Support program which provides baby clothing, toiletries, and other personal items to families of with financial challenges and non-perishable food items for nursing mothers." http://www.thepreemieproject.com/about
WOW over 900 babies EACH YEAR? This is why I have such admiration for The Preemie Project. The bigger the request the harder they work to fulfill it! Their programs include
Hats, Booties and Blankets
That's a big list! They motivate their volunteers. Not only to work to fill the list of needs above but they incorporate the sports fans with the Cy-Hawk challenge coming up September 12, 2015. http://www.thepreemieproject.com/upcoming_events/entry/2015_cy-hawk_challenge/ People who thing Sports and knitting/crocheting don't go together haven't seen what The Preemie Project can do before the Iowa/Iowa State game! Oh yeah we knitters and crocheters can crochet up a "storm" when given the motivation. So all you Hawkeye or Cyclone fans get your yarn ready!!
Lets get down to the reason we are all here; how can we help? The Preemie Project has guidelines and patterns: http://www.thepreemieproject.com/volunteer/patterns
Please adhere to the guidelines, they are there for a reason. It saves the volunteers so much time and effort. Here's a little tip,
I buy a lot of my yarn from Knitting-warhouse http://www.knitting-warehouse.com/yarn.html. One of the primary reasons is they provide a softness meter. Its good for all of us who A. are new to knitting or B. haven't used a particular brand of yarn before. You can check to see if it will meet the guidelines for preemie/infant knitting. Of course you can always donate in other ways. http://www.thepreemieproject.com/donate
Where ELSE can you find The Preemie Project on the web?
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.