Grandmothers knit and sew spring donations for NICU babies


SUNSET BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Sea Trail Grandmas are back at it again. We first introduced you to these ladies back in October, when they made a special delivery to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s youngest patients.

Today, the group from Brunswick County came together to work on their next collection of donations for the babies in the NICU.

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They were knitting and sewing items like hats, blankets, teddy bears and dresses that will be delivered during the spring.

Betty Ann Luff says it was important to get involved because she knows what it is like to have premature baby.

“My grandson was a premature baby,” said Luff. “It was very nerve racking. His little clothes did not fit right.”

Founder of Sea Trail Grandmas, Michele Lupien, said she started it because she could not find any clothing that fit her premature grandson either.

“I was not able to find anything so I told myself that I will learn to knit,” said Lupien.

Lupien said she did not know how to knit or sew, but eventually taught herself how to do so through trial and error. She now has created clothing patterns that are made just for preemies.

Luff says the gowns have snaps on the shoulders and down the front which makes it easier for nurses.

“The nurses are good about telling us what works and what doesn’t work so we can change our patterns and our items because the whole goal is to give them things that makes their jobs easier as caregivers to the babies,” said Luff.

Member Sheri Lambert has been a part of the group since the beginning. She said, “I’ve always loved to knit, sew, or crochet, and I think most of us here have spent our lives doing service projects.”

The group has more than 45 volunteers all over and with all the extra hands, the grandmas are able to holiday deliveries during the spring, fall, and winter.

“Every time we have a delivery it is a joyful time,” said Lupien.

Most of the members spend a lot of time knitting or sewing items whether it’s in the car, while watching TV, or at one of their four monthly meet ups.

Betty Ann Potvin says she works on her projects every night. “I’ll sit down around 7:30 pm until 11pm,” said Potvin.

“It’s a lot of volunteer hours, but it’s just a rewarding way to pass the time,” said Lambert.

Since starting back in 2008, the group has delivered more than 14,000 items to local hospitals.

The Sea Trail Grandmas are always looking for volunteers and they say you don’t have to live in the area to help.

Click here to find out more on how to volunteer and about the group.