Last updated: June 16, 2017 at 9:00 am
You can knit for babies in need and their families with Newborns in Need, who provide everything tiny ones require, included knitted clothing.
In 1992, Carol Green was at a quilting club meeting and read a sewing magazine article that shocked her. The article stated that newborns that died in infancy had to be buried in paper sacks or discarded with medical waste.
It sounds callous, but the reason for it? No one had the money or resources to purchase burial clothing.
Carol’s fellow quilting club members were convinced the article had to be inaccurate. Driven by a need to know the truth, Carol contacted the writer of the article, who confirmed the shocking statement.
At this, Carol proceeded to contact hospitals in her own area, wondering if they had the same problem. She discovered they did.
Birth of a Way to Knit for Babies: Newborns in Need
You might guess that a woman who took it upon herself to confirm a shocking statement she read in a magazine article would not stop at simply knowing the truth. Carol Green enlisted her friends, and together they began to create burial wear for hospitals.
Carol’s husband Richard then pointed out that many living babies were also needy, and that they needed clothes as well. So she and her friends then turned their attention to knitting, crocheting, and sewing for living babies too: gowns, hats, blankets, sleepers, and so on.
Richard Green dreamed up the name “Newborns in Need,” and a charity was born.
Although their craft charity makes up only a small part of the wide range of services Newborns in Need offers, it’s an active one that provides garments to thousands of needy babies every year.
Volunteers don’t just knit for babies; they also sew and crochet these much-needed items.
Services Newborns in Need Offers
Among other things, Newborns in Need donates pacifiers, T-shirts, onesies, wipes, bottles, sleepers, afghans, and hygiene products to babies in hospitals, homeless shelters, crisis centers, foster homes, and medical clinics all over the country.
In 2013, they distributed an amazing 450,000 items. The need remains high, however, so they always need more volunteers.
Especially important are the baby afghans they regularly deliver to their charges, as well as the booties, hats, and the burial garments. Teddy bear sweaters for these babies’ best friends are also popular.
How You Can Help Newborns in Need
Ready to knit for babies? If you feel like Newborns in Need might be the charity for you, you can learn more at the Newborns in Need website.
You can access a variety of free knitting, crochet, sewing, and bereavement patterns. These cover everything from infant afghans to knitted hats, booties, and burial buntings.
Newborns in Need asks that you stick with the patterns on their website, since they’re the result of years of trial and error.
Use whatever yarn fits the project, but you should avoid wool or wool-blend yarns since they are allergens. Whatever yarn you use should also be able to handle repeated washings. (Bereavement items don’t need to follow these guidelines.)
(You can find tips on starting your own knitting group here: How to Form a Charity Knitting Group, Want to Start a Knitting Group? Here’s How, and of course, Don’t Get Kicked Out of the Meeting Place for Your Knitting Group!)
No parent should ever have to feel alone or scared because they’ve given birth. Nor should the misery of the passing of a newborn ever be compounded by the lack of appropriate clothing for burial. These are two excellent reasons why knitting for Newborns in Need is never a waste of time.