Changes on the Horizon for TPP

Starting February 1, 2021, The Preemie Project will no longer be accepting donations of handmade items. We will still have enough bedding and holiday items to last through most of 2021.

We will be shifting our focus to primarily NICU Family Support. That will be in the way of going home supplies for families experiencing difficulties due to unexpected NICU stay. We provide pack and plays, sheets, blanket sleepers, diapers, wipes, formula, footed sleepers, and other items as requested by the NICU Social Workers.

Super Heroes visit St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids

The nurses at St. Luke’s Center for Women and Children in Cedar Rapids had a great idea for Nurses’s week. They invited the SuperHero Initiative to visit Pediatrics and the NICU. The Preemie Project was called upon to help make the event extra special for the NICU.

TPP volunteers graciously sewed and donated cute superhero bedding for this event. We also donated Superman, Batman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman Capes and masks for the hospital’s tiniest patients.

Thank you to everyone that worked so hard to help us fulfill the requests for this special event.

Donation Reminders

TPP does NOT donate regular hats to Iowa NICUs. The hospitals we support request that we only donate Holiday/Special donation hats and costumes.

The only hats we need from volunteers are Holiday/Special Event hats or hats for bereavement purposes.

If you enjoy making hats, be sure to watch our EVENTS CALENDAR for all the latest news about upcoming special/holiday donations.

TPP does not donate blankets of any kind to Iowa NICUs.

The only blankets we ask volunteers to make are knit or crochet blankets for bereavment purposes. Colors needed for those blankets are solid white, solid light pink or solid light blue (baby blue). Sizes needed are 15 inches x 15 inches up to 36 inches x 36 inches. We have a HUGE need for blankets for bereavement purposes.

In an effort to combat sudden infant death syndrome, most Iowa NICUs have stopped taking donations of blankets in order to model safe sleep practices.

Knit and Crochet hats for The Preemie Project

The Preemie Project does NOT need plain knit or crochet  hats, newborn or preemie sized, for use in Iowa NICUs.  Please limit hat donations to those for our Holiday and Special Donations

The hospitals we support receive too many regular hats, newborn and preemie sized. They have asked that we NOT donate plain hats to them.  But, they LOVE to receive hats for holidays from TPP.

As you plan your knitting and crocheting for the upcoming holiday season and new year, please limit hat donations to those for our Holiday or Special Event Donations. Refer to our Event Calendar for all the information about our upcoming donations. You may donate for any holiday at any time during the year.


Many thanks to 16 year old Charlie Liu for a great weekend of music benefitting The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and The Preemie Project.

Charlie performed two concerts this weekend. He played Saturday evening, August 26 at First United Methodist Church in Iowa City and Sunday afternoon August 27, at Coralville Performing Arts Center.

Charlie was born 7.5 weeks early, and had a month long stay in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. He understands the struggles of preemies and their families

Charlie’s first benefit solo recital at age 9 was a fundraiser for UIHC. Charlie had long wanted to give a benefit concert in his birthplace Iowa, but it was hard to get everything worked out. This year he was finally able to do it. The Preemie Project was very honored and to be a recipient of this benefit concert

This young man is so impressive!! We have to tell you a bit about him!!! When Charlie was three and half, he displayed exceptional finger dexterity and started learning piano at 4. At 6 he was invited to perform on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and won 1st place in Massachusetts state piano competition. Since then, he performed in all 3 concert halls inside the world-famous Carnegie Hall at only age 8, was youngest scholar selected by the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, performed on the Oprah Winfrey show’s season finale of “World’s smartest and most talented kids. Charlie has performed for such luminaries as Queen Rania of Jordan, Bono of U2, Huge Jackman, Alec Baldwin and many more. He has won more top prizes than anyone else in the top International/National Junior Piano Competitions in the USA.

The concerts were in part sponsored by Liu’s own “Rescue Music Foundation” .

Many thanks to Charlie for sharing his incredible talents and to his father, Mingyi Liu for facilitating this wonderful fundraiser. Charlie is definitely a rising star!


Donations of Wedding Gowns Not Needed

The Preemie Project has a group of seamstresses that sew infant burial gowns from donated wedding dresses. At this time we enough gowns to keep us busy sewing for quite sometime. If you are interested in donating your dress, make sure you are signed up for our email list. We will include in a newsletter when we are needing more donated gowns.

Bedding donations for 2017

Thank you to everyone that so generously made and donated to our annual NICU bedding drive. TPP elves are busy making donations of cute colorful bedding to Iowa NICUs.  Donations are planned for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital NICU, St. Lukes and Mercy in Cedar Rapids, Blank Children’s and Mercy in Des Moines, Trinity in Bettendorf, Genesis in Davenport, Unity Point Allen in Waterloo.

We collect bedding all year; so if you still have fabric in your stash or find that you have an overwhelming urge to shop the sales, you can send bedding to us anytime.  Read all about how to make the bedding on the NICU Bedding Program page

Crochet Octopuses Not Needed

There is an article on the internet going viral right now. “People are crocheting octopuses to help premature babies”. The Preemie Project does NOT need donations of these crocheted octopuses for several reasons:

  1. Because of recommendations for “Safe-Sleep” practices, The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital NICU and other Iowa NICUs will not accept any stuffed animals or blankets to be given to families for use in the NICU and take home.
  2. The other reason to not allow stuffed animals with the infants is because of infection control concerns for babies that are often very sick and susceptible to infections.

Thank you to everyone that sent this idea to us. We always encourage you to bring new ideas to us that you see. We are always on the look out for the next cute item for Iowa NICU babies.