Sewing for Babies group donates its time to young people in the region | Local news
Christina Lyons for the daily sun
A local sewer organization dedicates time to volunteers to make wraps and other items for children in the area.
Sewing for Babies is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that has combined the love of babies with the love of sewing, knitting and crochet to provide warm bedding and clothing for babies in families in need.
There are working groups that meet in Omaha, Lincoln and Beatrice.
Jeanie Sanchez started the organization in 1998. She had worked in the hospital as a nurse and saw the need.
Odetta Lintz is currently coordinator of the Beatrice group. She said she started out as a volunteer after years working with children as a music teacher and sewing gifts.
“It’s very difficult to find someone to coordinate all of this and to find the sewers as well,” Lintz said. “We are all women aged 70 and over. There are 12-14 volunteers who come on one of the two Mondays per month that the group meets. We work just as best we can and some continue to work from home. “
Karen Wiebe had been an obstetrician nurse at Beatrice Community Hospital and had heard about Sewing for Babies in the newspaper. She said she got more involved as a volunteer after her retirement.
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Most of the items go to Blue Valley Community Action, which serves families in Southeastern Nebraska counties. Some of the clothes and blankets went to the Willow Pregnancy Resource Center. Some of the items went to fire departments, law enforcement, foster parents and funeral homes.
Quilts are also donated to the Linus Organization in Lincoln.
“We know that the items received are appreciated by families,” said Lintz. “One of my favorite notes we received said, ‘I would like to thank you for the nice, home-sewn outfit. Our daughter, Ruby, has a rare genetic liver disease, so it’s hard for me to buy her new clothes when I’m not sure she’s there to wear them. The generally pleasant task of shopping for baby clothes can be an emotional test for my husband and I. Thank you for giving her something beautiful and special. We didn’t have to think about if she would live to get past him. You made it easy for us and it was wonderful.
Certain clothing and blankets are requested at funeral homes.
“We designed an angel pouch for stillborn babies,” Wiebe said. “It’s made of satin, so it’s not abrasive to the baby’s thin skin. We also give them souvenir envelopes so that they can keep the ultrasound or the hair that will help make this moment a beautiful memory for parents.
The group’s annual budget is approximately $ 16,000. The combined efforts of volunteers averages over 9,000 hours per year and produces over 3,000 sleepers, blankets, diaper bags, towels and other items.
The group receives donations of fabric, yarn, fleece for quilts, snaps and other necessary items. Monetary donations are also accepted and the group raises funds as needed. It was a Big Give Gage agency in September. Volunteers can also collect Best Choice Tags which are redeemed for cash.
“Everything we own has a purpose. Some of the material that cannot be used for baby projects is used for quilts and donated to World Relief, ”Wiebe said.
The Villa at Flowing Springs provides space for the group to meet on the first and second Monday of the month. The space allows them to leave installed sewing machines and rental project storage free of charge.
“We’re always looking for volunteers and right now we need someone to put snaps on the sleepers,” Lintz said. “We have the machine, but it takes finesse to do it. “
For more information or to volunteer, contact Lintz at 402-228-4383.