Making Blankets for Kids in Need
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The feel of the soft yarn passing through Tina Roggenkamp's fingers, the nearly silent movement of the metal needles, brings her calm. She loves knitting so much, the busy mom of two has managed to make more than 20 blankets. She says, "My husband's like, 'how many more blankets can we possibly need?'"
Her family doesn't need anymore. But Roggenkamp knew plenty of Charlotte families do. She discovered Binky Patrol, a national non-profit, and just weeks ago, launched the Charlotte chapter. The group makes and delivers blankets to kids up to age 18. She says, "Kids in foster care, shelters, HIV positive, sick kids."
Even sick babies. CMC-Pineville's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the first organization in the Charlotte area to agree to accept the blankets. "There's always a need for these because sometimes we send them home with the babies, they wear out," says NICU Nursing Manager Tamara Dowless.
Once the blankets arrive at the hospital, they're washed and sterilized to make sure they're safe for the babies. Dowless says, "If it's gonna be a scratchy sort of thing, of course we won't use it because the baby's skin is so incredibly tender."
Dowless says the blankets should be cotton and free of embellishments. She suggests, "Thin, actually, we like things thin because we need to test and challenge the baby's ability to keep their temperature."
Back at Roggenkamp's, she's working on three blankets. So far, only one other woman has offered to help. She says, "I would love some more volunteers, definitely because knitting a blanket takes a while."
The blankets can be knitted, crocheted, quilted or even no-sew fleece. If you can help, go to http://binkypatrol.org/page.cfm?name=nc_roggenkamp
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