Hands-to-Honduras: Volunteer Group Aids Newborns

Parents of newborn babies are accustomed to tiny hats landing on the heads of their new prodigy, but in a poor nation struggling to provide basic items that help with survival, those small comfort items can go unnoticed.


Babies born at an Honduras hospital received colorful hats when Shelburne-area members of the Hands-to-Honduras visited last month.

That is until now. During a February trip to Tela, Honduras, members of a group known as Hands to Honduras-Tela, worked on a number of building projects in the region. The “heart and soul” of the work centered om constructing educational, medical buildings as well as working on infrastructure plans.

According to Charlotte resident Linda Gilbert, director of Hands to Honduras-Tela, the group visited the area from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28, with most of the volunteers there for two weeks during the middle of February. Also, the workers brought with them more than 500 hand-knitted or crocheted newborn baby hats. The headpieces were made by women who are residents of Vermont, Florida and Connecticut.

In Gilbert’s case, her sister lives in Florida and was familiar with the needs of residents in Tela. Gilbert’s sister is a member of a knitter’s group and informered other group members about the helping. Another volunteer told a church group in Connecticut about the project, and people put yarn on needles, creating the tiny hats. In Vermont, word-of-mouth was enough to see the small, colorful accessories come in, Golbert said.

Babies born at the Tela hospital received the colorful hats when members of the Hands to Honduras-Tela visited. There were 18 to 20 newborns at the hospital daily,” Gilbert said. “We walked in with a bag of hats, and the new moms got to choose hats for their babies. The fact that they could pick out a hat for their babies brought smiles to their faces.”

Gilbert said Hands to Honduras-Tela has worked in the area for 11 years, helping to elevate the stinging poverty that characterizes the region. At the time of the most recent humanitarian visit, the goup was building a neo-natal intensive care unit at a Tela hospital.

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