About

The Preemie Project seeks to provide comfort and support to critically ill infants and their families in Newborn Intensive Care Units in Iowa. We achieve our mission through the support of a devoted group of local and national volunteers.

The Preemie Project was founded in the spring of 2005 by Coralville, Iowa native, Laura Pabich (Aker).  Laura wanted to use her passion for knitting to help others.  After making contact with the staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), now Stead Family Children’s Hospital NICU (SFCH NICU), Laura summoned individuals on blogs, online message boards, and email lists to join her in knitting and crocheting for premature and critically ill patients.  From those invitations, The Preemie Project was born.

The Preemie Project made its first donation of hats, booties, and blankets to the SFCH NICU in August of 2005.

In 2006, The Preemie Project’s Board of Directors was formed.  With their passion and guidance, The Preemie Project grew into a statewide organization that provided support for up to 13 Iowa NICUs.

Since it’s formation in 2005, The Preemie Project evolved to meet the ever changing needs of Iowa NICUs.  These years brought the formation of new programs like our Infant Bereavement, Memory Box, Family Support, Safe Sleep, NICU Bedding, and the Holiday Hats and Costumes programs.

After 16 years The Preemie Project Board of Directors decided to shift focus. On February 15, 2021 The Preemie Project will stop accepting donations of handmade items from volunteers.

We remain committed to supporting NICU families through our family support programs at Stead Family Children’s Hospital NICU and Blank Children’s NICU in Des Moines.


The Preemie Project is an Iowa based 501c3 non-profit based in Coralville, IA. We do not have chapters in other states.

The Preemie Project Headquarters

Linda Aker Board President
The Preemie Project
2607 Flagstone Court
Coralville, IA 52241
e-mail: Email Linda

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