NHS Helps Newborns in Need

Members make blankets to support local cause

Tying the ends of a blanket together, junior
Anna Cottrell finishes one project of many as a part of the new charity event.

One out of 8 babies born does not survive. 28,000 children under age 1 die each year. 1,210 babies are born to teen moms each day. 2,660 babies are born into poverty each day. Newborns in Need is made up of volunteers across the United States. These volunteers are dedicated to making sure that the teen mom, the stressed family, and the mother overwhelmed in sadness is supported in the first moments of a child’s life.

Fauquier Hospital nurse and mother of three, Jill Herbert, founded the Fauquier chapter of Newborns in Need.

“I was moved to start Newborns in Need about five years ago when I found out about the program while talking with another parent on the sidelines of soccer game,” Herbert said. “She was making blankets and hats and shipping them to other Newborns in Need chapters.”

Before bringing a chapter to Fauquier County, the closest chapter was in the Tidewater region.

Herbert said her passion is newborns.

“I have worked with infants my entire 18 years of nursing, and it broke my heart to know there are newborns in Fauquier County that do not have the essential items in the beginning of their lives,” Herbert said.

“I often see, first hand, in the hospital infants and families who have very little, and this is my way of providing for the littlest of people who can’t do for themselves.” Gracie Crater, NHS president, wanted to find an organization to help.

She learned about the group through a Facebook article.

“I reached out to the lady in charge of the organization at Fauquier Hospital,” Crater said. “She’s been really patient with us and has given us a lot of information that I’ve needed to make everything happen and get donations to her, which has been really awesome.”

When picking an organization to help, Crater wanted to make sure it was a local one.

“I’m passionate about this because I love being involved in service and paying it forward, and these babies really need our help,” Crater said. “What better way to benefit the community than to help those who will come to live in it?”

As soon as Timmy Ryan, NHS vice president, found out about the group, he was on board.

“I’m passionate about the cause because it’s for the young children and their mothers in the community,” Ryan said. “We plan to continue to support them in any way they need.”

NHS officers are very excited about teaming up with this group.

“I’m hoping this will guide the NHS community to participate more in the county’s well being rather than just the well being of Kettle Run,” Crater said. “NHS members have been great, as they always are, with helping us make things happen. They’re as excited about this cause as I am, and I’m hoping whoever takes over as president next year is able to continue helping Newborns in Need because they are taking on a huge project and Kettle Run students have the means to help them accomplish their goals.”

Much like the National Honor Society, Herbert has a vision for the future of Newborns in Need.

“I dream that Newborns in Need to be a name everyone knows in Fauquier County,” Herbert said. “I want everyone to know how to contact Newborns in Need if they see a family of newborn in need. It is my goal that it will ultimately provide car seats, safe sleeping (pack-n-plays) and that there is never a newborn in Fauquier County that is in need, no matter the situation. I would also love to have neighboring counties start their own chapters.”

The National Honor Society has been collecting items to donate to the Newborns in Need foundation, a different key item each month.

“We collected over 50 pairs of pajamas during January,” Crater said.

Herbert said her organization was thankful for the donations.

“Last week at our meeting we were able to make over 20 essential bags with these jammies,” Herbert said. “Those bags are now in the community and finding their way to newborns. They should be very proud of themselves! Currently, they are making fleece blankets for February. My plan is to distribute them as soon as possible to homeless shelters, transitional housing and pregnancy clinics in the community.”

“We are going to make fleece blankets for the month of February, for the Fleece for February theme, and help provide volunteers with manpower for stocking items, etc,” Crater said. “We plan to continue helping the program by providing volunteers and items they need for less fortunate babies.” To donate to Newborns in Need contact Gracie Crater, or any NHS member.