Caring for New Mothers in Need
By Amy DeWeerd
Many expecting mothers pack a hospital bag with a tiny outfit for their babies to wear on the way home from the hospital. But not all women have the resources to do this. Some can’t even afford a blanket to swaddle their newborn in. In fact, 80 percent of the mothers who deliver at our nearby hospital, Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, New York, have limited financial resources.
For these women, Wee Care is a godsend. Wee Care, a ministry of Kinderhook Reformed Church, provides layettes—sets of newborn clothing—to mothers in need who deliver babies at Columbia Memorial Hospital. Each layette contains a handmade blanket, handmade newborn hat, four articles of infant clothing, and a pair of socks. We also include a card, written in both English and Spanish, welcoming the baby and explaining that the layette is a gift from Kinderhook Reformed.
Our church members, ranging from 10 to 95 years old, sew the blankets and knit the hats. Others purchase baby clothes and assemble the layettes. Over the past three years, we have made and delivered 720 layettes to mothers in need.
Wee Care began as a seed planted in my heart during a time of prayer three years ago. The Kinderhook congregation and surrounding community have tended and cared for that seed, which has flourished into a beautiful mission.
Wee Care primarily relies on the generosity of our church and community members. We got started thanks to a $500 grant from the Regional Synod of Albany. We have also been blessed with funds from our church’s spring pancake breakfast and our plant sale. We try to be good stewards of our resources by looking for sales on baby clothing or the flannel we use to make our blankets.
At times, the Wee Care shelves are overflowing, but there are also months when the shelves are bare, and we wonder how we will manage to assemble 20 more layettes. Every time this has happened, God has moved others to donate. We have never missed a month of deliveries!
It is with anticipation that we wonder what is next. As Scripture says, God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV). We pray that God continues to use our ministry in big ways.
Amy DeWeerd is a member of Kinderhook Reformed Church in Kinderhook, New York.