A hand holding a baby

Hope for Newborns Still Meeting the Needs of Infants and Mothers

Hope for Newborns, a group of volunteers that makes clothing items for Arizona infants in need, has been known by different names in its lengthy history at Esperanza. But its mission hasn’t changed, according to a 15-year member of the group who is its current organizer.

“Our focus is to make things and get them to the people who need them,” Doris Dorwart says. “There are all sorts of things we get asked for, and we say, sure, we can do that.”

The group, which is open to Esperanza members and also to those who do not belong to the church, meets at 10 a.m. on the third Friday of the month in the Fellowship Hall. Several in the group are talented in knitting, crocheting, sewing and quilting, and those skills are important in preparing kits that go out to infants and their mothers via Valleywise Health Medical Center and Dignity Health’s Chandler Regional Medical Center.

Each kit includes six diapers plus a washcloth, bib, booties, hat, flannel blanket or quilt, and nightgown or onesie. The bibs, booties, hats, blankets and quilts are handmade by the group.

“These kits go only to babies in need,” Dorwart says. “The nurses (at the hospitals) determine this. When we have something, it has to get out to a family in need.”

The group, which previously was part of the national program Newborns in Need and then the nonprofit Arizona Needy Newborns, also has filled requests from organizations such as the Salvation Army, UMOM New Day Centers, Helen’s Hope Chest and Project Linus.

In 2022, Hope for Newborns donated nearly 3,800 items, filling 200 kits and Christmas stockings. That represented an increase of about 25% over 2021.

Those who are unable to attend the monthly meeting can help by donating leftover yarn or fabric in a cupboard.

“Most of us joined with just a desire to help newborns and were taught, guided and encouraged by the more experienced members,” Dorwart says.

For more information about Hope for Newborns, email Doris Dorwart at [email protected] and put the word “Newborn” in the subject line.