Warm and Clean on the Rez and Urgent Needs

Although our project for the month is restocking the baby closet we’ve received an urgent request from Jerome and Theresa for more warm blankets (especially twin size), coats, hats, gloves, mittens and warm clothing in all sizes.   The Woodchucks could really use all these items (in larger sizes)  as they need dry clothing to change into when theirs becomes wet or frozen with snow while out cutting and delivering wood.  The weather is cold and high winds have drifted snow onto roads and driveways making it nearly impossible to cut or deliver wood to families that desperately need it.  They’re hoping for a warm up Friday which will allow them to get back out and build up the wood pile.  Propane is in short supply for most and those that do have it are using it sparingly so homes are very cold.  Families are doing their best to stay warm and are so thankful for all the winter gear you’ve sent, unfortunately there’s never enough to go around.  Warm items are a constant need during the winter months so next year we may continue that drive through January and move the baby closet to a different month.  Most of you have already spent months on the winter project (we too!) and are ready to move onto something new, but helping our friends on the Rez stay warm is a major concern of everyone at SFK.  Anything you can send will be greatly appreciated and if there’s a little room left in your box consider adding coffee, tea, hot chocolate or soup which are great warmer uppers and a package of disposable diapers in sizes 2-5, we’ve been informed they’re completely out!

During the winter babies on the Rez really need warm blankets including quilts and afghans, flannel receiving blankets, warm sleep sacks, baby mitts, hats and sweaters.  Other challenges for new mothers is keeping their babies clean and fed. Many don’t have the extra clothing to change their babies when they need it or a washer, soap and running water to do laundry or bathe.  If they do have water the thought of getting into a tub of water in an unheated home isn’t exactly inviting, it’s hard enough to stay warm when your body’s dry. Towels and washcloths are in short supply on the Rez so rags or clothes are often used to dry off.  Babies don’t like to be in messy diapers and clothing and will cry if their needs aren’t attended to, something that can grate on a stressed mom’s nerves and at times lead to abuse. For the first 6 months babies need more attention and clothing as they’re frequently spitting up and soiling themselves.

We can help make things a little easier for mothers by making/purchasing some things to help keep their babies dry and happy.  Burp cloths are indispensable for the first few months helping protect clothing, cleaning up baby and even used for a diaper if needed.  Some great patterns to try are here:  http://tipnut.com/baby-burp-cloths/.  Bibs in various sizes are needed especially starting at 5-6 months when kids are introduced to solid foods.  They protect clothing from stains allowing them to be used for another day and keeping them in good condition to be shared with another family member or child in need.   Since washing clothes is hard and drying them in winter even harder, keeping them as clean as possible is important.  Many kids don’t have pajamas so wear the day’s clothing to bed, another reason to keep them clean.   Some bib patterns:   http://www.sewmuchado.com/2010/09/tutorial-sleeved-toddler-bib.html,  http://www.lubirdbaby.com/2010/01/just-like-daddy.html http://www.favecrafts.com/Sewing-for-Kids/Terry-Cloth-Baby-Bib-with-Sleeves/ct/1.    Towels are a luxury on the Rez so let’s fill this need by sending hooded and regular, new or gently used or make your own from terry cloth.  A hooded towel can be made by adding a washcloth to a purchased towel, directions here:  http://todaysfabulousfinds.blogspot.com/2011/04/hooded-baby-towel-tutorial.html, http://acreativemomma.blogspot.com/2010/12/hooded-towels-tutorial.html  Washcloths serve a multitude of uses and can be easily made from scraps of terry cloth, flannel, etc., patterns here:    http://www.creationsbykara.com/2010/12/baby-washcloth-tutorial.html/, http://pinoyinoz.blogspot.com/2008/11/tutorial-how-to-make-simple-baby-wash.html

We would also like to provide mothers with more clothing so they have extras to change their babies and young toddlers into when they get dirty.  Any clothing items for children 0-24 months can be sent with warm things especially needed for winter.  There are loads of free patterns on the web for those that want to sew and sales are on everywhere for those that like to shop.  You can also “shop” your kid’s or grandkid’s closets and check thrift stores for good buys.   Other items to consider tossing in your box are body soap/wash and laundry detergent in small containers or the bar type such as Zote, Fels-Naptha, etc.  With shipping costs at an all time high you get the most bang for your buck if your boxes are completely full.  Although we work on specific projects each month that doesn’t mean you can’t send clothing or other items if you know they will be needed at some time.  In other words fill your boxes but don’t make them so heavy they’re impossible to lift.  Shipping prices generally go down per pound the heavier the box gets.

Please join us on our Sew For Kids Volunteer group on Facebook or our Sew For Lakota Kids Yahoo group where we discuss patterns, sales, sewing techniques and many other topics. Next blog will address diapering needs.

Please send your items here. Thanks from Sew For Kids.


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