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Stitch-a-Wish Volunteers

baby in knit cap

The volunteers of the Stitch-a-Wish program are an important part of the care that Cook Children's Medical Center, in Fort Worth, Texas, provides to pediatric patients and their families.

Stitch-a-Wish volunteers sew, knit, and crochet for the patients at Cook Children's. The program provides the patients with colorful, child friendly pillowcases that brighten their rooms; medical play therapy dolls that help patients learn about and understand the medical procedures they undergo; telemetry bibs that allow toddlers mobility even while attached to heart or seizure monitoring equipment; blankets to brighten the child's room and bring them warmth and comfort, and knitted or crocheted purple baby hats to remind parents to keep their infants safe. These items, and many others, are utilized daily throughout the medical center for comfort, therapeutic play, arts and crafts, and safety.

The Stitch-a-Wish program was formed in October 2005 when a call went out to the community for people who sewed to give their time and talents to hospitalized children by providing them with items that normally would not be available. The message was heard and the program has grown tremendously. Since the start of the Stitch-a-Wish program, tens of thousands of items have been sewn and donated to sick and injured children. The needs are ongoing and continue to grow as Stitchers create more items that make the young patients' hospital stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

A vision of the Stitch-a-Wish program is that all patients (3 years and older) receive their very own small pillow and pillowcase to use during their stay and take home with them upon discharge. As a non-profit pediatric hospital, this can only happen through the support of volunteers and donors who are willing to give of their time and resources. Our invitation to sew, knit, or crochet is extended to everyone interested in volunteering from home. For more information on the program please contact Christy Beck, Stitch-a-Wish Program Coordinator, at christy.beck@cookchildrens.org or 682-885-4590.

  • All items must be washed and if needed, ironed. This is for the protection of our patients.
  • Due to many religious preferences of our patients, please do not use any fabric or wording that has a religious connotation as it limits our ability to utilize the items with the patients.

Sewn items

Pillowcases

Blankets

Bedside Pals

  • Pattern for Bedside Pals (currently not needed)

Bags

Preemie, newborn, and infant needs:

Medical:

Neck pillows:

Crocheted or knitted items

Purple baby hats

  • Purple hat information **not needed at this time

Blankets and quilts

Headbands

  • Information and pattern - coming soon

Scarves

  • Information and pattern - coming soon

Stuffed animals

  • Information and pattern - coming soon

Critical needs

As needs arise we send out emails to the volunteers to keep them updated on special needs and things we are running low on. Please feel free to contact the Stitch-a-Wish Coordinator, Christy Beck to find out if there are any specific needs.

Pillowcases (15X24 size) are always in need.

Duties of the Stitch-a-Wish volunteer

The purpose of the Stitch-a-Wish volunteer is to provide the patients with handsewn items that are utilized throughout the medical center for comfort, therapeutic play, arts and crafts, and safety. Many of these items would normally not be available for the children were it not for the stitchers. There is no minimum hourly or project commitment.

Stitchers will:

  • Supply their own materials for the sewing projects or seek donations for same under the guidance of the program coordinator, Christy Beck
  • Wash all items before donating them to Cook Children's
  • Follow the patterns provided at www.cookchildrens.org/stitch-a-wish. Check with staff before altering patterns. Fabric patterns can vary from infant to teen prints, for boys and girls
  • Ensure that buttons, google eyes, or other notions are well-secured on the items to prevent a choking hazard
  • Check each item carefully to ensure that all pins, needles, etc. have been removed
  • Drop off or mail items to Volunteer Services for distribution
  • Since Cook Children's is a non-profit agency, we ask that you please keep track of the hours spent working on projects (shopping for supplies, sewing, ironing, delivering, etc.) and turn them in with your sewn items. Volunteer hours should be recorded on donor forms which are supplied by Cook Children's
  • Fill out a donation form (for your records and ours) and turn it in with your Stitcher project

This volunteer placement reports to the Stitch-a-Wish Coordinator and/or the Volunteer Program Coordinator.

Qualifications:

  • Sewing, knitting, or crocheting experience (projects range from beginner level to expert)
  • There is no minimum hourly or project commitment
  • Sewing skills. Knitting or crocheting skills
  • Able to supply own materials

NOTE: Due to the many respiratory illnesses or allergies that some of our patients have, we ask that items be sewn in a smoke-free environment and that pets do not come into contact with the fabrics. All items must be washed before being delivered to Cook Children's.

Directions

Stitcher project can be hand-delivered to:

Cook Children's Medical Center
801 Seventh Ave, Ft. Worth, 76104
Volunteer Services Dept., 1st floor, across from the atrium.

Stitcher projects can be mailed to:

Cook Children's
ATTN: Christy Beck, Stitch-a-Wish Coordinator
Volunteer Services
801 7th Ave
Fort Worth TX 76104

Additional Requirements / Information

Schedule: Flexible hours
Helping Hands: Yes

Coordinators for this assignment

Christy Beck
Email: christy.beck@cookchildrens.org
Work: (682) 885-4590
Position: Volunteer Supervisor
Job title: Volunteer Program Coordinator

Apply to be a Stitch-a-Wish volunteer

Contact DFW Stitch-a-Wish

Christy Beck
Volunteer Services
Cook Children's Medical Center
801 Seventh Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104
682-885-4590
Christy.beck@cookchildrens.org