Stitching love into infants’ gifts

Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Aug 14, 2019 - 02:38 PM

Photo: Members of the Bay Quilters Guild donated a number of handmade quilts to the Rural Infant Services Program during its recent meeting at Central United Methodist Church in Mathews for children to enjoy during their therapy and beyond. Shown with the quilts are, from left, RISP occupational therapist Diane Kelly, RISP director Kathy Phillips, and Bay Quilters Guild members Pat Calautti, Louise Witherspoon, Carol Murdock and Pat Rawls. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Members of the Bay Quilters Guild donated a number of handmade quilts to the Rural Infant Services Program during its recent meeting at Central United Methodist Church in Mathews for children to enjoy during their therapy and beyond. Shown with the quilts are, from left, RISP occupational therapist Diane Kelly, RISP director Kathy Phillips, and Bay Quilters Guild members Pat Calautti, Louise Witherspoon, Carol Murdock and Pat Rawls. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Each year, members of the Bay Quilters Guild pour hours upon hours of love and dedication into quilts that are given to infants in need. This year, the guild has donated approximately 20 handmade quilts to the Rural Infant Services Program for infants to use during the various therapies they undergo and later on their beds as memories of how far they have come.

“The quilts have been so much appreciated in the past,” said Kathy Phillips, RISP director. “Knowing how much they mean to our children warms our collective hearts.”

Nowadays, Phillips said parents are advised to have infants sleep on their backs and then have periods of times on their stomachs called “tummy time” during play. The infants use these quilts during tummy time, when the quilts become their special blanket.

RISP specializes in working with children to help identify and treat developmental problems as early as possible. “The goal is for each infant to reach his or her full potential,” Phillips said.

The program, which comes under the Northern Neck Community Services Board, began in 1983. It includes an outpatient rehabilitation program for physical, occupational and speech therapy. She said oftentimes, all it takes is to provide a child with an opportunity to experience something that will make quite a difference in his or her life.