The image of a newborn leaving the hospital wearing only a lightweight T-shirt and diaper lingered with Social Worker Mary Ann Lytle, MSW. She knew in her heart babies transferring into foster care deserved more when they left the hospital. Mary Ann wanted to show those babies that NKCH staff cared about them.

Asking For Help

With the support of her supervisor, Sasha Bojkovic, Mary Ann initiated an infant clothing collection drive on the Maternal Child Unit. With approximately 10 babies transferred to foster care each year, she wanted each baby to leave with two sleepers, three onesies, a few pairs of socks, a bottle, a blanket and a hat. She reached that goal and so much more.

And, Donate They  Did

Staff seized the idea and affectionately referred to the drive as, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” They filled Mary Ann’s office with 195 sleepers, 415 onesies, 67 pairs of pants, 205 pairs of socks and countless blankets, hats, bath towels and other items for newborn to age three months. “I had the idea, but the staff made it a reality. They care about the moms and babies on our unit,” Mary Ann said. Mary Ann’s mother, Nancy Leach, CMA, at Meritas Health Gashland, washed the new and gently used items.

“Now when we see a baby strapped in a car seat we can feel good about the difference we made for that baby,” Mary Ann said.