Hand-Stitched Support for Babies Born to HIV-infected Mothers

Thanks to a generous donation, babies born to HIV-infected mothers will now be wrapped in an extra layer of warmth and comfort.

From left, Veronica Williams-Douglas, Iva Chilsom, Ireda Brent, Evelyn McNairy, Mary Smith, Sheila Gordon and Ana Garcia, Ph.D., LCSW.

The babies and their parents received close to 50 cozy, hand-knit blankets, booties, hats, and mittens recently from the members of the Supreme Council of America Inc. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Masons and Supreme Grand Chapter Order of Eastern Star.

Members of the group, who spend most of the year creating the blankets, donated their handwork to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics Division of Immunology & Infectious Diseases.

The gift was accepted by Ana Garcia, Ph.D., LCSW, the pediatric coordinator of HIV services within the division, which offers testing for infants born to mothers with the virus.

“Being able to give the mothers something that’s cuddly and warm for their child really helps with bonding and hopefully encourages them to return for all four months of testing,” said Garcia, who is also assistant professor of clinical pediatrics.

The donation is part of a tradition for the Supreme Council of America and Supreme Grand Chapter Order, which was holding its 25th Annual National Convention at the Hyatt-Regency Miami.

The group sponsors 17 charities, including pediatric AIDS.

Close to 50 cozy, hand-knit blankets, booties, hats, and mittens were donated to HIV-infected mothers and their babies.

“Each year, we donate blankets, crocheted or knitted by members in our arts and crafts programs in various states, to an agency within the city where we are meeting,” said Marilyn Cannon, the convention directress.

Garcia said the blankets are an unexpected surprise.

“They are lovely and we are very grateful to have them,” she said.

Tags: pediatric AIDS