Tonawanda News — Students from St. Andrew’s National Junior Honor Society teamed up to bring a little comfort and a little color to babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Sisters of Charity Hospital on Friday afternoon.
Over the few weeks the students have been working together with teachers and Honor Society advisors Kelly Ciura and Allison Cacicia to collect money and fleece fabric that was used to make over 50 blankets to donate to the NICU, which has several uses for them.
“There’s absolutely a need for the blankets,” said Maria Koniarczyk, an RN at Sisters Hospital. “We use them to cover the incubators to keep it dark and quiet. Also, it makes the families feel like they actually have a baby, it makes things look more homey. They’re very appreciative.”
Blankets are also used to comfort the babies when they get a little bit bigger. Sometimes they are used to make up the cribs for the babies, or to swaddle them in for comfort.
Erica Melton gave birth to 6 pound, 9.8 ounce Garrett on April 26. She was visiting him in the NICU, where he is being treated for infant jaundice, when the St. Andrew’s students showed up and presented a fleece blanket with animals on it to Garrett. She agrees that the blankets add a comforting, homey touch.
“It’s nice to be able to decorate a little,” Melton said, “You can’t really put anything in there with him, but he’s doing really well.” She hopes that little Garrett will be well enough to go home by the end of next week.
Though performing acts of service is required for students in the National Junior Honor Society, according to Ciura, they couldn’t be happier to be helping out.
“We did this last year too,” she said. “The kids are really excited, they love it and they’re a great group to work with.”