This morning's post is a very special one - a guest post by Bonnie of Sunset Family Living. She has asked me to share some info on an incredible project she is leading - crocheting for the NICU! So I'll let her get to it...
Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) take care of the world’s littlest patients: preemies and newborns who need a little bit of extra help to survive. These tiniest of babies are often fighters, despite weighing no more than a couple of bananas! Even full-term babies may end up in the NICU, because they have troubles like breathing adequately, staying warm, or regulating their blood sugar.
Whatever the reason for the intervention, NICUs are a huge blessing to these little ones and their families. It’s also a very stressful time for everyone involved. Most mothers envision a day of snuggles and get-to-know-you time on their baby’s birthday, not seeing their baby attached to tubes, wires, monitors, and behind the glass of an isolette. It can be very lonely and very frightening. In many NICUs, the only personal touch that the babies get is a little hat they can wear. However, because a NICU stay usually comes as a surprise, many families don’t have such little hats for their new babies. This little personal touch can mean the world to a mom!
Sunset Family Living’s annual NICU charity challenge goes along with the 12 days of Christmas. The challenge is to make 12 preemie or newborn hats – one for each of the 12 days of Christmas and donate them to your nearest NICU. Last year, well over 26,000 hats were donated to NICUs all over the world.
Twenty incredible designers have each contributed patterns to this challenge that you'll get simply for joining the challenge. These hats are adorable!! When you join the challenge, you'll receive each of the patterns via email. You are welcome to use all of the patterns, only one of the patterns, or any combination of repeats (or your own patterns) to make your 12 hats. We ask that you share a photo of your finished hats with us before you drop them off to your local hospital/birthing center/NICU. You can post the photos to Sunset Family Living’s Facebook page or you can email them.
Check out this year's beautiful challenge patterns:
The links below take you to each designer's Facebook page. If you "like" all of the pages at once, Facebook may delete your likes and you won't be connected to the designer. Each designer will be featured over the next few days, so you can "like" their page when they are featured as well.
Sunset Crochet, KT and the Squid, Cre8tion Crochet, RAKJ Patterns, Little Monkeys Crochet, Danyel Pink Designs, My Sweet Potato 3, Blackstone Designs, The Hooked Haberdasher, Sincerely Pam, Crochet by Jennifer, Charmed by Ewe, Susie J Crochet, Ashley Designs Corner, Knit in the Womb Designs, Hatched with Love, Two Brothers Blankets, The Stitchin' Mommy, Mamachee * Crochet makes me happy!, and the Frayed Knot
When you sign up, you'll immediately be emailed the first pattern. You'll then receive one pattern each day via email. That email will also link you to a blog post about the designer with links to designer's blog, shop, and other information. (Many of the designers included a coupon code, too!)
When you finish your hats, take them to your nearest birthing center or hospital that delivers babies (they’ll usually have a relationship with a nearby NICU). That way each participant is making a difference in his/her own community. You'll get to go into the NICU and see the reaction of the nurses and, in some cases, the moms of little patients as they fish out a brand new hat to put on their little one. It feels incredible when you realize what a difference your gift makes.
Some fun info on who's joined so far!
From the United States, we have 3 stitchers stationed on US military bases overseas, 5 from Alaska, 29 from Alabama, 8 from Arkansas, 22 from Arizona, 125 from California, 16 from Colorado, 21 from Connecticut, 3 from D.C., 1 from Delaware, 41 from Florida, 47 from Georgia, 17 from Iowa, 18 from Idaho, 82 from Illinois, 47 from Indiana, 39 from Kentucky, 16 from Louisiana, 22 from Massachusetts, 17 from Maryland, 9 from Maine, 85 from Michigan, 44 from Minnesota, 31 from Missouri, 9 from Mississippi, 4 from Montana, 58 from North Carolina, 10 from North Dakota, 12 from Nebraska, 5 from New Hampshire, 19 from New Jersey, 6 from New Mexico, 9 from Nevada, 62 from New York, 63 from Ohio, 29 from Oklahoma, 35 from Oregon, 48 from Pennsylvania, 4 from Rhode Island, 28 from South Carolina, 8 from South Dakota, 26 from Tennessee, 110 from Texas, 68 from Utah, 37 from Virginia, 2 from Vermont, 54 from Washington, 52 from Wisconsin, 6 from West Virginia, 7 from Wyoming, and another 119 from the United States who didn’t specify a city or state.
Worldwide, there are 134 stitchers from Canada, with 27 from Alberta, 15 from British Columbia, 7 from Manitoba, 6 from New Brunswick, 7 from Nova Scotia, 1 from Newfoundland, 60 from Ontario, 1 from Prince Edward Island, 7 from Quebec City, and 4 from Saskatchewan
48 stitchers from Australia, including at least five from each of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide.
46 stitchers from the United Kingdom, with Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, London, and Scotland being the most mentioned areas.
4 stitchers from both New Zealand and South Africa
3 stitchers from Spain
2 stitchers each from Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico
1 stitcher each from Bermuda, Cyprus, Greece, India, Italy, Philippines