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A woman's inspiring crusade to help newborns

Jefferson Award-winner Kathy Silverton
September 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Jefferson Awards recognize the extraordinary achievements of people who volunteer and make their communities a better place. This month's award winner is Kathy Silverton, founder of Stitches From the Heart, who demonstrates what the power of one can do.

From across the country, the donations pour in: bags and boxes stuffed with knitted hats, blankets and sweaters for newborn babies.

"Here's a woman who goes out, she buys the yarn, she knits for hours, or crochets for hours and then she wraps it up and sends it to us. She gives this to a baby she'll never see and I think that's really giving from the heart," said Silverton.

Stitches From the Heart is a nationwide group of volunteers who knit, crochet and quilt blankets and clothing for premature babies. Silverton started out 11 years ago on her own, just knitting things for babies, but the word spread fast.

"Hospitals kept saying 'well, can we get the bigger sizes too.' And it blew up, so everywhere up to toddler is pretty much what we do. It snowballed from there because we now have 14,000 knitters," said Silverton.

One thing that quickly became clear to Silverton is it wasn't just babies that were being helped by her charity, the knitters get something out of this too.

"It gives them purpose. It gives them a reason to be knitting knowing that it's going to somebody that's going to appreciate it," said one volunteer.

Every day the shipments pour in, filled with the kind of gifts you can't find in any store.

"It's like, to me, every stitch has a little bit of love knit into it and when it gets to that baby it's just so special, very special," said Silverton

It's an untapped resource of compassion and love that Silverton has found a home for, wrapped snuggly around a newborn baby in need.

Kathy Silverton is our Jefferson Award winner for the month of September.


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