PUBLISHED: 5:02 PM on Wednesday, October 25, 2006
From the heart
Group donates handmade knit items for Bartlett babies

Courtesy photo
  Bartlett Hospital recently received a donation of hand-knit baby items from a nonprofit organization called Stitches from the Heart, which is based in Los Angeles. The group distributes blankets, sweaters, booties and hats for infants in need so that they can go home from the hospital feeling warm. Dana Haff, left, and Agnes Vu of Bartlett Hospital take inventory of items donated. For information or to make a donation, send e-mail to or call (866) 472-6903.
Giving the gift of warm, handmade clothing for a newborn can mean more than monetary worth.

That is just what Stitches From The Heart, a non-profit Los Angeles based organization, gave to babies of Southeast Alaska when it donated items to Bartlett Regional Hospital last week.

The group sent about 30 hats, 10 sweaters, five blankets and five pairs of booties, said Dana Haff, coordinator of volunteer services and community partnerships at Bartlett Hospital.

She said she received a brochure in the mail from Stitches From The Heart and asked nurses to suggest what was needed.

"They were afraid they were asking too much, but that wasn't an issue," Haff said.

"A lot of these things look like they could have been purchased at a shop. With cooler weather coming in Juneau, it was great timing."

Stitches From The Heart started about four years ago when founder Kathy Silverton read an article about premature babies going home with few items, according to

Silverton then began knitting items in her spare time to donate to hospitals, and soon others joined her efforts, and now the organization boasts more than 6,000 volunteers from across the country.

"There are tags with names and contact information on the pieces.

"Since the group is based out of L.A., that's where most of the things are from, but there is one from Colorado," Haff said.

The group has distributed more than 220,000 items to more than 430 hospitals and charities across the country, according to the Web site.

Volunteers purchase their own supplies and monetary donations are used for shipping costs and to purchase yarn for senior citizens who knit items for donation.

"They sent out these hand knits so that babies will have something warm to go home in," Haff said.

"If people want to support them by making items or giving money, that would be nice because they were so generous to our community.

For information or to make a donation, send e-mail to or call (866) 472-6903.