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Newborns in Need, Inc.
Florida Big Bend Chapter
P. O. Box 37122
Tallahassee, FL 32315
MOSES BASKET PROJECT INFORMATION
The births of babies born prematurely, in health crisis, or into poverty, are at an all time high . Some families do not have enough money to buy formula, diapers or other necessary items for their newborns. Too many times, families cannot provide an adequate crib or bassinet for their newborn, who goes home to sleep in a box or drawer, or is placed in bed with another child or with an adult. These scenarios are dangerous for newborns and sometimes result in unnecessary infant deaths. The Florida Big Bend Chapter of Newborns In Need, Inc., addresses this problem by providing safe-sleep bassinets called "Moses baskets," which include bedding, clothing and other baby items, to needy families in Leon County, Gadsden County, and other surrounding counties.
Newborns In Need, Inc. is a 5013(c) charitable organization with more than 50 chapters nationwide, which provides clothes, bedding and other baby items for newborn infants in need. My name is Sheila Callahan, and I am the President of the Florida Big Bend Chapter. In August 2006, in an effort to reduce local infant deaths, I and several friends started the Moses Basket Project to provide safe-sleep bassinets for needy newborn infants, made by volunteers from the community and distributed by the Health Department’s Healthy Start Program and other non-profit agencies who serve needy families.
The Gadsden Correctional Facility agreed to have the women inmates make the mattresses for our Moses baskets, if we supplied the materials. On our first visit to the prison, we brought a complete Moses basket made from a sturdy WalMart plastic laundry basket lined with fabric, which included a mattress (vinyl and foam from WalMart), fitted mattress pads, fitted sheets, receiving blankets, a fleece blanket, a baby quilt, and a crocheted hat (fabric, yarn, and thread from WalMart) to show the inmates, who talked us into teaching them how to make all the components of the Moses basket.
Over the ensuing years, with the support of churches and community volunteers and with the hard work of the many inmates who have participated in the Moses Basket Project, more than 500 complete Moses baskets have been distributed to needy families of newborn infants in Gadsden County, Leon County, and other surrounding counties by such organizations as the Healthy Start programs, the Brehon Institute for Family Services, A Women's Pregnancy Center, and ECHO.
- SHEILA CALLAHAN
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