Parenting

Local Charity Sews Warmth for North Georgia”s Littlest Citizens

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Tiny-StitchesBy Kells Hildebrandt

While Georgia is not known for its cold climate, the winter months pose serious challenges to disadvantaged families.# These obstacles can prove overwhelming, especially the task of caring for the swaddling and clothing needs of an infant.# This is where local charity Tiny Stitches comes in.

Tiny Stitches was formed in 1999 to help Georgia”s “smallest, neediest new residents stay dry and warm.”#The group was started by five women who crafted blankets and clothing for underprivileged infants and sent the supplies to a national charity.# Realizing that there were unmet needs in the North Georgia area, the women decided to refocus their efforts locally.# Today, Tiny Stitches is a completely volunteer-run charity with over 250 volunteers distributing packages of blankets and clothes to needy families through local hospitals and healthcare professionals who best know the circumstances of expecting families.

Tiny Stitches relies on the efforts of its volunteers to not only collect fabric and yarn donations but also to craft these supplies into a variety of necessary items for newborns.# The final package of items, called a layette, contains items such as clothing, hats, blankets, quilts, and bibs, all packed into a tote bag.# These items are essential for families who might otherwise have to leave the hospital with no care items for their newborns.# Jill Stubler, president of Tiny Stitches was touched by the group”s charity first hand.# “In smaller county hospitals, there just aren”t the resources to give out blankets for newborns.# When I worked in the OB-GYN ward at the hospital, I was so grateful to Tiny Stitches for the work they did, I decided I would volunteer with them full time after I retired, and I did.# I retired on a Friday, and started with Tiny Stitches the very next Monday.”#

Another mission of Tiny Stitches is to comfort those who have suffered a miscarriage at any stage of pregnancy by providing burial ensembles.# The kit is custom crafted for each family, and contains a blanket, dress, hat, and a memory envelope.

The demand for layettes is growing.# With its current roster of volunteers, Tiny Stitches can produce 45 to 60 packages for needy newborns; however, in recent months, hospitals and clinics have requested over 75 packages for newborns and the group struggles to keep up.

One of the charity”s biggest needs is volunteers.# There is no minimum time commitment required, and every little bit helps.# Members can sew, knit and crochet items for the layettes, or assist in packaging and organizing supplies.# Volunteers can attend workshops hosted at various locations throughout Atlanta and North Georgia.# “People come to learn to make new items or even just to cut patterns and sew,”# explains Stubler.# Volunteers are also welcome at the group”s general meetings.# You can find a full schedule of workshops and meetings on the group”s website, www.tinystitches.org.