Handmade Items - Bronson Healthcare

Handmade Items

In-kind gifts are contributions of goods or services. Many of the in-kind gifts that Bronson receives are handmade; knitted, crocheted, sewn or painted. Bronson would not be able to provide these items to our patients without the generosity, time and talent of people in the Kalamazoo community and beyond. In-kind gifts provide comfort to patients in Labor & Delivery (L&D), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric Unit, Mother Baby Unit (MBU), Surgery, Rehabilitation and Palliative Care. 

Surgery Buddy

A stuffed "animal" that resembles a gingerbread man, buddy is used before surgery to assess the child's feelings and help the child prepare for and cope with their surgery. Buddy is part of the treatment process. The child may take their buddy home. Medical Play Doll PatternMedical Play Doll - Step-by-Step Instructions

Buddy Patient Gown 

The child may put a "patient" gown on their buddy or stuffed animal  play doll and take it into surgery.  Doll Gown Pattern

Baby Hats

All babies born at Bronson are given a handmade hat to help them maintain proper body temperature. See above Baby Hat Guidelines and Size Chart.  Patterns

Ribbon Snuggler
Ribbon snugglers are used in the Emergency Department and Pediatrics for infants to cuddle with and keep them distracted while they are being treated.  Ribbon Snuggler Pattern

Blankets
Receiving blankets, afghans and quilts are used by:

  • The Volunteer Baby Guild in layettes given to babies-in-need born at Bronson
  • Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Infant through teen patients on the Pediatric Unit
  • Adult patients in the Palliative Care service

Walker Bag
Patients place these on their walkers to hold their personal items.  Walker Bag Pattern

Angel Wraps and Gowns
These are used in Labor and Delivery for pregnancy loss (miscarriage) situations. Patterns

Pillowcases
The Pediatric Unit uses colorful, fun pillowcases to brighten their patient's bedding.

  • Guidelines:  Standard pillowcase size; please no used pillowcases
  • Suggestions: Kid-friendly prints, fleece, satin border on the open end

Bosom Buddies
Bosom Buddies are knitted or crocheted prosthetic breasts for mastectomy patients. When placed in a bra, the Bosom Buddy takes the shape and feel of a real breast. They are lighter, more comfortable and less expensive than silicone prosthetic breasts. They are also called Tit Bits or Knitted Knockers. They will be offered to patients of the Bronson Breast Surgery office. Bosom Buddy Guidelines 

Teddy Bears

Bronson's Bereavement Service provides support to parents coping with the loss of a baby through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, SIDS, newborn or early infancy death. These parents have precious few tangible items with which to remember their child. One item the staff likes to give the parents is a hand knit or crocheted stuffed bear. Teddy Bear Patterns

Isolette Covers
An isolette, also called an incubator, is an enclosed bassinet used in the Neonatal Intensive Care. The cover is placed over the isolette to keep room light from the baby. 
  • Guidelines: Washable material; quilted or thick enough to block light; 40 inches wide by 50 inches long.
Surgery Caps for Kids

The hospital can be a scary place for children having surgery. The child and the surgical staff must wear a surgical cap on their head to cover all their hair. Getting to pick a colorful surgical cap gives the child an opportunity to look like the doctors and nurses in a fun and friendly way.  The child may take their cap home as a souvenir of their surgical “journey.”  

Memory Boxes

A Memory Box is a decorated Paper Mache box that is given to parents coping with the loss of a baby. The box is filled with mementos of the child; photograph, footprints, lock of hair, to acknowledge the child’s life.

Paper Mache boxes may be made or purchased at craft stores. 

Paint the box.  You may use Wallies (similar to decals), rub-on transfers, stamps, stencils or a decoupage technique.

Seal and varnish the boxes as the families will keep them for a long time. 

For guidelines, decorating ideas and patterns go to  http://memoryboxes.org/index.html

Bereavement Pillow

An 8”x10” rectangular flannel pillow with a 4” wide x 4 ¾” tall pocket for a small booklet.

Red Scarf
WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, has a Heart Scarf program where all new female cardiac patients in the hospital get a red handmade scarf and information about the support group.

  • Guidelines: Knit, crochet or fleece; use red yarn or material; 5 inches wide, 50-60 inches in length
  • Contact:  Sherry at WH-GtrKalamazoo@womenheart.org
    Please send the scarves directly to Sherry.

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