July 22, 2008

Group Gives Clothing to Hospitals for Newborns in Need

By Corey Levitan



Angels in the Valley provides clothing packages to hospitals for needy families who can't afford to outfit their new babies.

"By having the outfits at the hospital, it's one small thing we can do," said Angels in the Valley President Judy Kuehling.

Each month, Angels in the Valley donates 30 packages - containing a blanket, sleeper and hat -- to University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

For families whose babies won't be going home, the organization also donates 30 burial layettes to UMC, Sunrise Hospital, Valley Hospital, Southern Hills Hospital, Spring Valley Hospital, North Vista Hospital and all three St. Rose locations.

"When you lose a baby, it's an extremely difficult time and the last thing you're thinking about is clothing," Kuehling said.

Most of the clothing packages are donated, but the burial layettes are all sewn by hand by the organization's 15 volunteers.

"Some of the burial clothing is so tiny that you can't buy it in a store," Kuehling said, noting that 8 inches in length is not an uncommon request.

Kuehling estimates that approximately 700 familes require baby apparel in Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas each month.

"Our goal is to supply all Clark County hospitals with burial layettes and enough going-home layettes so that every newborn in need goes home in new clothing," she said. "We are nowhere close to meeting that need, so we are looking for more people who are interested in helping."

Kuehling, a volunteer teacher's aide at Steele Elementary School, founded Angels in the Valley in 2002. She said her organization is in the process of applying for nonprofit 501-3c status, which she expects to receive by October.

"I have always been involved in volunteering with children," said Kuehling, who has five of her own, "and it bothers me that we have babies that go home from the hospital with absolutely nothing."

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Kuehling at (702) 837-6062.

Contact reporter Corey Levitan at [email protected] or 702-383-0456.

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