PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Local women gather at Destiny Worship Center once a month to help provide homemade items for premature or stillborn infants.
The packages are personalized baby clothes designed for those who may not get to go home. The gifts are delivered to two area hospitals. Thos are HCA Florida Gulf Coast Hospital in Panama City and Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast in Miramar Beach.
The women are a part of a national organization called ‘Threads of Love.’
“So, these items give the families a chance to make their baby look like a baby, dressed like a baby, be wrapped like a baby, and just then, they get these items to take home with them,” said RN Leslie Paxton, HCA Labor, and Delivery Unit.
Every month, the women create different packages with specialized clothing, blankets, burial gowns, vest, and levy dolls.
Each item is uniquely designed to fit every size infant and handle special equipment used to support the baby.
Hospital nurses said this helps the family during an incredibly emotional time.
“Instead of having multiple opportunities to do all the parent things that they dreamed of, these families have one opportunity to do all these things,” said Paxton.” Things like bathing their baby, dressing their baby, swaddling, reading a story, singing a lullaby, and having photographs made. So our goals here are to facilitate as many of those moments as we can as a staff.”
‘Threads of Love’ chapter leader Angie Livingston said she decided to get involved with the program after seeing her daughter go through a similar situation.
“The clothing that they had for the babies was all white. So when this group came in and brought in colorful little bargains, little blankets, little shirts, and every day the boys were all dressed in different outfits,” said Livingston. “So it made her feel like she had real babies there. It wasn’t like they were in a sterile environment.”
Every item that’s part the baby package is sterilized and washed in cold water with no perfumes and tightly wrapped with love.
Since 2019, the Panama City Beach ‘Threads of Love’ Chapter has made around 3,000 personalized packages for local hospitals.
The Panama City Beach ‘Thread of Love’ meets the second Tuesday of every month at Destiny Worship Center in the Pre-K building from 9:30 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. They are located at 13000 Panama City Beach Parkway.
For more information on the group, click here.