Volunteer Spotlight Archives

A group such as The Preemie Project would be nothing without a dedicated group of volunteers. We feel lucky to have so many amazing people from all walks of life trying to help our organization. With each newsletter, we try to highlight different volunteers. This is the archive of those highlights. To each of you, please accept our heartfelt 'thanks.'

Marcia Williams

Marcia Williams

Featured Volunteer Marcia Williams

Hi, I’m Marcia Williams. I have recently moved with my husband to a home close to where I grew up in central Illinois. It’s a nice change from the Chicago suburbs where I’ve lived for the last 30 years or so. My husband and I continue to work as the advertising department for our Chicago-area employer by taking advantage of our internet connection to the company.  I have three sons who are now grown, educated, employed and in their own homes. Two are married, and the oldest has given me three grandchildren in rapid succession . . . which brings me to how I found The Preemie Project. I was searching online for hat and blanket patterns for my newest grandson when I stumbled upon this organization.

The Preemie Project immediately interested me because I have twin nephews who were born almost three months early in 1991. From that experience, I learned how much tension parents can feel when their infants are so very fragile.  I remember that every kindness meant a lot to them. That is why I decided to start making hats, booties, blankets, and bereavement items for this cause. By the way, my nephews are now 16-year-old honor students, so be assured that it is possible for some of these babies to thrive.

I have truly enjoyed working on these tiny baby things. I particularly like to make complete outfits, because I like to imagine a baby using the whole ensemble.  There is one thing I’d like to emphasize for those who are interested in knitting, crocheting or sewing for us. You don’t need to be an expert or have any fancy equipment. I don’t even know how to use double-pointed needles, and my sewing machine is a 1950 model that is older than I am! There are many very easy patterns provided on The Preemie Project website, so there isn’t any need to feel intimidated.  Happy New Year!  Let’s all work to make 2008 the best donation year yet for this worthy cause.

Read More About Marcia Williams

Judy Carpenter

Judy Carpenter

Featured Volunteer Judy Carpenter

My name is Judy Carpenter, and I live in Iowa City with my husband and three cats. One day late in 2005 when I worked a volunteer shift at the local senior center gift shop, I found a notebook with information on The Preemie Project.  It was full of knit and crochet patterns, and as I browsed through them, it was heartbreaking to see the miscarriage wrappers and burial garments.  As a fairly recent retiree, I saw TPP as an opportunity to dust off my knitting skills and spend my newfound free time doing something I enjoy that would benefit others.  So, when Laura did a presentation at the Senior Center in October 2005, I attended, signed up, and have been knitting for The Preemie Project ever since.  I started just with hats and booties but have since made burial gowns as well.  Since I’m right here in Iowa City, I have also been able to help on Work Group weekends and contribute baked goods to the craft and bake sales.  It has been a pleasure to work with a group of such dedicated and caring volunteers, and it’s gratifying to see the letters of appreciation from parents who have received items from us.  I hope to be knitting for TPP for a long time.

Read More About Judy Carpenter

Laura Bolton

My name is Laura Bolton and I sew blankets and crib sheets for the Preemie Project. My husband and I live in Pleasant Ridge, MI and we have a son who lives in Houston, Texas.

Two years ago I found the Preemie Project on the internet. I was so amazed at the drive and ambition of Laura Aker and wanted to join this organization. As luck would have it, there was a chapter in my own state—so I became part of the Michigan chapter which is run by Jan Berry.

The talent and creativity of each volunteer in this organization is just incredible to me. I love reading the emails and blog to see how everybody is looking for a new pattern or adjusting a pattern to fit a tiny little one. I love to see the creativity come alive when I look at the pictures. Every item is made with love, care and individuality.

I truly believe that God gave me this talent to help others in need. I cannot imagine the worry and heartache that these families go through when their little one is born prematurely and so ill. Therefore, I find it a privilege to pray for the families and the medical staff as I make a blanket or crib sheet.

I feel that the Preemie Project has given each of us a chance to use our talents and let the families know how much we care for them during a time that is so overwhelming and challenging. I hope that this organization will continue to grow and impact people through the gifts of our hands.

Read More About Laura Bolton

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