This Is Carolina: Ministry revives tradition to bring warm blankets to Grand Strand newborns

This Is Carolina: Ministry revives tradition to bring warm blankets to Grand Strand newborns

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – A Grand Strand ministry has made it their mission to spread their love through knitting.

The New Life Prayer Shawl ministry hand-knits about a thousand soft blankets every year as a welcome gift for the Grand Strand’s newest little ones.

It started eleven years ago with Doris Kennedy and her pastor’s wife. Since then, she said it’s grown to more than 35 people, women and men, at Grand Strand Community Church.

The tradition took a slight break due to COVID-19 guidelines at hospitals, but now it’s back. They donated 35 baby blankets and 16 stillborn baby blankets to Conway Medical Center. It’s a tradition that is priceless to new parents.

“The parents love them. They’re beautiful, they’re amazed when they first see them that someone would give it that much time and thought for them to wrap their baby up and take them home,” nurse Kathy Wade said. “Some mothers don’t have anything to take their baby home in. So it’s really nice. It’s a good feeling to know the volunteers work so hard to get these to us and we get to give them to the mama.”

“The baby blankets to me are the most special. I’ve been doing it with Conway Medical right from the beginning,” Kennedy said.

Almost every baby blanket is different, depending on its maker, and includes a hat and knit angel. It also comes with a prayer.

“I did receive a thank you card from a mother, 16-year-old mother -- single, no father -- how she appreciated receiving our baby blanket for her baby. And that when she entered the hospital she was torn about keeping the baby. The chaplain here presented her with one of these, and she wrote to me when she got out of the hospital she had found the Lord and her baby was going to be baptized. And that touched my heart,” Kennedy said.

The group tries to meet weekly for each project. They also make prayer quilts and shawls for cancer and hospice patients, in addition to knitted gloves with trinkets for Alzheimer’s patients.

Kennedy said the group is always looking for yarn donations. If you’d like to donate, you can contact Kennedy through the email at grammak819@aol.com.

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