Shore Medical Center Maternity Health Unit Coordinator Rhonda Terwilliger and Shore Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator Lauren Matalucci with Grace Lutheran Stitchers chairperson and organizer for the 13th annual Grace Lutheran Baby Shower, Bettie Cross.
Newborns and their moms will leave Shore Medical Center with a little extra love tucked into their diaper bags thanks to the talented knitters of Grace Lutheran Church in Somers Point and Epiphany Lutheran Church of Pleasantville. For the past 13 years the members of the Women’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Association have used their collective talent and time to create hand knitted items for newborns. All of the items made by the members were donated to Shore Medical Center Maternity and Obstetrics Dept. to be given to the new mothers and their baby when they are discharged and heading home. International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator, Lauren Matalucci and Maternity Health Unit Coordinator, Rhonda Terwilliger attended the baby shower and thanked all of the knitters and benefactors.
The knitters gathered May 14 at Grace Lutheran for a baby shower and luncheon in honor of all the new mothers and babies that they may never meet, yet provided handmade hats, blankets, and sweaters along with newly purchased and donated onesies, pajamas, diapers, socks, and baby wipes. Chairperson of the Grace Stitchers group and the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Association, Bettie Cross said the members love the fact that they can use their talent to make something that will help new mothers just starting out that may not have something new and special for their newborn.
Reverend Jeffery Rickards started the luncheon with a prayer for all of the newborns that will benefit from the gifts made and for the volunteers who spent so many hours creating something very special for some of the newest of local residents.
Matalucci said the items donated by the women of Grace Lutheran and Epiphany Lutheran churches will last a full year and they mean so much to the person who may not have the means to get something new for their baby. “When we tell them they can keep the blanket or the little hat or whatever the item might be, they are so appreciative,” said Matalucci. “More than a few will have a tear in their eye when they realize that someone took the time to make this for them. It is a really special time.”
Anyone interested in joining the Grace Stitchers, they meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon every Friday in the Grace Lutheran Church Lounge, 11 E. Dawes Ave in Somers Point.