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Spotlight Nonprofit: Giving at-risk newborns a warm start to life

LatinaLista — Giving birth and taking that new bundle of love home is supposed to be the most joyous event in any mother’s life, and it usually is, but when that mother doesn’t have enough money or family or friends to help her prepare for that little one’s arrival then a joyous event turns into a serious problem.

Nurses at Pocono Medical Center in Pennsylvania noticed that some of their mothers were taking their newborns home without even the most basic clothes or accessories. They told one local resident, who had just given birth herself, how the nurses would pool their money together to buy layette items for these moms in need.

The resident, Julie Rubino, couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky she was and how hard life must be for those women who didn’t have baby blankets, onesies, socks and other items that all babies need to have a healthy start in life. Rubino was so moved by the plight of these mothers that in 2001 she got six friends together at her house to sort, wash and assemble baby layette bundles for their new organization — The Angel’s Closet.

Since that time, the organization has grown, along with, the stack of items each new baby gets to take home. Rubino and a staff of volunteers assemble layette bundles that include: hooded towels, washcloths, socks and booties, onesies, receiving blankets, outfits, sleepers, sweater/hat/bootie sets, bibs, burp cloths, snowsuits, board books, stuffed animal and a heavy blanket — each bundle is worth about $300.00

With the tagline “we clothe babies,” The Angel’s Closet not only distributes the layettes at that original hospital but to fourteen area social service agencies, doctor’s offices and church outreach programs.

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