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By Charlotte Hopkins

Local group Sweet Peas' initiatives to help familes experiences premature birth and infant loss are now being enhanced by the efforts of their new partner, Angel Wings from the Heart.

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A preemie outfit made from one of the donated gowns.

Sweet Peas founder Heather Farnam, of Glassport, uses her group to help families with children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – usually preemies – and those who experienced pregnancy and infant loss. They have provided over 6,500 care packages for families in the Pittsburgh NICU. In the event that the preemie passes on, a memory box is given to the parents. They also try to give back to the nurses in the NICU, who work tirelessly to care for these babies. Sweet Peas delivers pastries, bagels, and coffee.

When Farnam learned that some of the preemies were being laid to rest swaddled in a blanket, she reached out to Sue Caruso, owner of a local craft business, Aspire Creations. Caruso then started what is now Angel Wings from the Heart. Their mission is to collect donated gowns and use the material to make gowns for preemies that have passed away. Angel Wings knows how difficult it can be for parents, in their state of grief, to look for a gown in which to bury their baby. For a $5 donation, an outfit can be presented to one of the parents in a loved one's name. It will include a laminated card and a story of your loved one.

They are looking for donations of extra sewing material as well as scissors, needles, sequins, buttons, lace and more. "A lot

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Heather Farnam and Sue Caruso founded Sweet Peas and Angel Wings from the Heart to support those experiencing premature birth and infant loss.

of people sew and they all have extra pieces around that we can use, even an extra piece of elastic," stated Caruso. They are also in need of volunteers to help make the gowns and create outfits. "Even if you don't sew, you can cut and glue," stated Farnam.

If interested in making a donation or volunteering with Angel Wings from the Heart or with Sweet Peas, Caruso can be contacted at Angelwingsfromtheheart@gmail.com. Farnam can be contacted at Heather@projectsweetpeas.com.

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