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Celebrate Excellent Care

Community members knit caps for Beebe Babies

By Amanda Neal

Last month, Beebe Medical Foundation received a generous donation from a group of neighbors living in the Senators community near Lewes. The letter enclosed with the gift said it was in honor of Dahni Barkley because, for the last five years, she has coordinated a Senators community group that makes caps for Beebe Babies. 

As a matter of regular practice, Barkley picks up the stockinette material from Teresa Fritz at Beebe Healthcare and cuts it to the proper length. Then, during their monthly meeting, group members attach handmade pompoms and bows to the caps, making each a one-of-a-kind creation. The group donates more than 200 caps a month to Beebe’s Labor and Delivery Unit.

I was moved and amazed by this story. I had no idea this effort even existed, so I reached out to Barkley for some background. Graciously moved by the donation in her honor, she forwarded me some comments and history about the group. 

“We originally started out as a needlework group,” said member Sue Crawford, “but our current methods enable more people to participate.” During the pandemic, Barkley prepared individual bags of supplies which were delivered to the members so they could work from home and continue to meet Beebe’s need for baby caps. “We wanted to be sure no baby went home without one,” said member Kathy Herman. 

Barkley informed me that each Beebe Baby receives two caps, one at birth and one before discharge. When pictures of the first babies born in each new year are in the Cape Gazette, members are delighted to see a new arrival modeling a cap they crafted. “Since I have no grandchildren of my own, making baby caps helps me feel connected to the next generation,” said Stephanie Stelene, explaining the reason she enjoys being involved with the group.

I continue to be amazed at the depth, breadth and variety of ways this philanthropy abounds in my community. I am proud to be among people who give freely of their time and talent to craft a cap for a newborn they will likely never meet. I am also proud to be a part of the excellent care provided at Beebe Healthcare each and every day!

Thanks to Teresa Fritz for her work with this committed community group. And thanks to all the wonderful Senators community members who participate in the Caps for Beebe Babies effort!

As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at [email protected].