Local nonprofit helps newborn babies in need


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A group of local volunteers are helping newborn babies in challenging situations.

Volunteers with the South Hampton Roads chapter of Newborns in Need are collecting items for “Newborn Immediate Need Kits” including baby wash, diapers, wipes and pacifiers. 

These kits are then distributed around the community to agencies like the Chesapeake Health Department.

Volunteers are also knitting blankets, Afghans and quilts for these kits.

“It is just fabulous to know that it will go to people that can use it, ” said member Shelley Deneau.

The kits go to newborns in the area who are born into difficult environments. 

“We also make little kits for premies that are born into challenging situations. We do have a connection with a bareavment group for the babies that never get to go home,” explained South Hampton Roads Chapter President Debra Williams. 

Susan Whalen is a nurse in the baby care program at the Chesapeake Health Department.

She gets the honor of handing the kits to the moms who may otherwise walk out with almost nothing for their baby.

“From the most motorcycle mom with tattoos to the young little teenager that doesn’t know what she’s doing like Debra said, they usually burst into tears,” stated Whalen.

Whalen says some of the magical moments will be in her heart forever. 

“One I often think of is a mom, she was an older mom who already had like 7 or 8 children, she had a lot of boys. I think she even scared the hospital staff a little bit because she was real tough, but she had to be tough. When I gave her the outfit for her little girl after all these boys her mom had died recently and she did not get to see the new baby it just really moved her,” Whalen recalled.  

If you would like to volunteer or donate, you can find more information on the Newborns in Need website.

They are also looking for more group members, they meet once a month.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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