Helping those who help needy babies

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 Messenger photo by Andrea Cordle
 Shirley Hight works on an OSU blanket that will be distributed to a premature baby in need. She is a volunteer with the Touching Little Lives group that meets every month at Grove City United Methodist Church. Hight started volunteering in January and said she has a great and rewarding time. She said she wanted to put the sewing skills her mother taught her to good use.

They volunteer their time to help premature babies, now they are asking for your help.

The Grove City chapter of Touching Little Lives (TLL) needs materials and volunteers as the cold weather approaches. TLL is an Ohio-based, non-profit charity organization that gives premature and newborn infants the necessities they need. Volunteers make quilts, blankets, caps, booties, gowns, bibs and sleepers. They also provide Ohio hospitals with hygiene products, formula and bottles for the needy babies.

According to TLL, hundreds of premature and needy babies are admitted to local neonatal intensive care units each year. The extremely small size of many of the infants makes it difficult to find clothing that fits. When it is found, it is often not affordable. The items are provided to families free of charge.

Sandy Engelman and Evelyn Cook got the Grove City group started in 1999. They meet the third Friday of each month at Grove City United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"In 1999, we started out with four volunteers," said Engelman. "Now on average we have about 30 volunteers who make 600 to 900 items each month."

Despite the growth, the group is still looking for assistance.

"We need more supplies and more volunteers," Engelman remarked. "That is how we survive."

The group could use volunteers who can sew, knit and crochet. They also have volunteers who stuff toys.

Engelman said the volunteers know they are doing a good deed but they also have fun in the process.

"It’s a really good time," she said. "We have lunch and birthday parties – it’s like a social circle."

They never forget their mission.

"When a family faces a difficult time it’s comforting to know someone cares," said Engelman. "We can provide them a little comfort. I think it’s what God wants us to do."

If sewing is not your forte but you would like to help, the group needs fabric, lace, thread, trim, ribbons, stuffing and baby yarn. Engelman said all materials donated will be used in someway. You can drop the material off at the Grove City United Methodist Church while the group meets or you can contact Engelman at 875-0113 or Cook at 875-4954 to make other arrangements.

For additional information on TLL or ways you can help, log onto www.touchinglittlelives.org.

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