For 20 years, Heart of Texas Threads of Love has delivered over 126,000 handknit items to Central Texas NICU units.Stefanie Lebens
For 20 years, the volunteers of Heart of Texas Threads of Love have used their enjoyment of sewing and needlework to comfort Austin area families with children in the NICU.
Heart of Texas Threads of Love is one of 75 chapters nationwide. The original Threads of Love organization started in 1993 in Louisiana with the purpose of providing burial gowns for babies who were too sick or tiny to survive. When our local chapter Heart of Texas Threads of Love started 20 years ago, like the national parent organization, they produced special bereavement gowns, wraps, and remembrance tokens. However, at the request of local hospitals, they expanded their production to include items for the care and nurturing of sick babies including scent cloths (presented in fabric drawstring bags); emesis cloths; swaddling blankets (small and large); sheets; and quilts. In addition, they provide knitted, crocheted, and quilted blankets that are presented by Peri-Natal Nurse Navigators to in-patient antepartum mothers. They also take great care in providing “Honor Blankets” for individuals who are being taken to surgery for organ donation subsequent to clinical death. The blanket covers the person as they are transported through the hospital (SDNAMC) to the surgery suite. The family of the donor is then given the blanket as a token of remembrance. Hospitals benefiting from blankets and hats include in-patients at St. David’s Children’s Hospital at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center and Dell Children’s Hospital.
During the pandemic, Threads of Love had to change how they supported the local hospitals. Instead of meeting weekly to work, sew, and share materials they created a COVID Protection Plan. The plan enables the current 15 volunteer members to continue donating 500 handmade items per month to 5 local hospitals. The volunteers have delivered over 126,000 handmade items to Austin area hospitals’ Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units in total over the last 20 years.
The volunteers are from all walks of life and some members were preemies themselves. Members also devote time to creating items at home. A benefit of their outreach is providing a sense of purpose and connection with other members as well as with those in need.
RecognizeGood presented this incredible group with a certificate, a $1,000 donation for their organization, and complimentary seats to the 2023 Ethics in Business Awards luncheon.