By Hayley Fedor
For a decade, Newborns in Need of Valrico has steadfastly supported infants and their families during difficult times and hardships. Through thoughtfully selected items and handmade gifts, the volunteers at Newborns in Need offer love to infants in the form of care packages.
Since its founding in July of 2011, the Valrico chapter of Newborns in Need has operated with the mission “to take care of sick and needy babies for families in case of crisis to help where help is needed,” said Sue Mowery, founder and director of Newborns in Need of Valrico.
Newborns in Need currently supports seven organizations in the area, including Brandon Regional Hospital, Tampa General Hospital and one of its primary partnerships, Choices in Brandon.
Each handcrafted care package delivered by the nonprofit includes up to 21 baby items that provide relief for families in difficult situations. Every recipient receives a homemade blanket in addition to other necessities like infant outfits, a small toy and washcloths.
The volunteers at Newborns in Need also make bereavement gifts out of donated wedding dresses for families that have lost a baby. With the donations, they create smaller dresses that individuals can select to clothe their infant.
Initially, “I looked online, I read about how they support preemies and I myself was a preemie at 2 lb., 6 oz., and I know how difficult it was way back then to get preemie stuff,” said Mowery “I had no clue what I was getting into, but I knew it was what I wanted to support.”
There are currently around 40 volunteers with the organization, some of which are long-distance but still participate by mailing in donations for care packages.
This year, Newborns in Need of Valrico plans to celebrate its special 10-year anniversary on Saturday, July 10. Customarily, the volunteers meet on the second Saturday of each month at the SonLife Baptist Church in Valrico.
In honor of the anniversary, Mowery reflected on one of her most memorable moments with the nonprofit and stated, “I saw a lady that had a 1-pound baby I got to see. She was able to let me see the baby, she gave me permission and it was like our little project together to make clothes for that 1-pound baby.”
For more information about Newborns in Need and to find out how to get involved with the organization, visit the nonprofit’s Facebook page @NINCWFL or call Mowery at 833-1786.