Group helps ease difficult hospital time
This year like magic we had exactly the right number. -Amber Bates
Babies born premature or with illnesses keeping them in Warren Health Service hospital over their first Christmas received handmade blankets and care packages collected since August by Tiny Sparks in the hope of making the holiday season a little easier for the infants and their families.
A not-for-profit organisation aiming to improve the wellbeing of WA families enduring high-risk pregnancy and infants requiring neonatal unit care, Tiny Sparks provides support to metropolitan and regional families across the State.
As part of its volunteer efforts, the organisation each year reaches out to communities for its Christmas Quilt Drive, in the hope of collecting more than 250 blankets for infants around WA.
Co-founder and chairwoman Amber Bates said the drive began in August, with word spreading quickly through quilting and sewing communities.
“Generally, the first week of November we have a little panic, wondering if we will hit our target for the year,” she said.
“We never know exactly how many quilts we will be distributing until we do our sorting for the regional mail out.
“This year like magic we had exactly the right number.”
The organisation mailed 48 Christmas quilts and “Baby’s 1st Christmas 2018” ornaments to 12 regional hospitals on December 14 for babies spending the day in “special care beds” due to prematurity or sickness at birth.
“Our regional families are a very important part of our community,” Ms Bates said.
“They are often not only geographically isolated but lacking friends and family who have been through a similar journey.”
Receiving the care packs aimed to offer regional families a sense of support and a reminder there was a place to reach out for support.
Alongside the regional delivery, about 207 quilts will be delivered across Perth with the bulk going to King Edward Memorial Hospital, where about 95 babies are expected to spend their first Christmas.