Three women with Jefferson City's First United Methodist Church are working to keep a longtime Jefferson City resident's legacy alive.
Marylin Durk, Karen Fischer and Carol Galloway are collecting afghans for a program called Afghans for Angels, founded nearly 10 years ago in Missouri by the late Falba Core.
The program sends handmade afghans to Missouri hospitals for families of infants lost through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death.
"They wrap the baby in the soft afghans or tiny, knit blankets," Durk said. "It allows parents and families to hold the baby and say goodbye. It's also a keepsake for the family."
The trio shipped out their second shipment of afghans to Missouri's 73 birthing hospitals Tuesday. The ladies' first shipment was in November 2012, six months after Core died.
"We've got between 80 and 90 boxes with 12 afghans in each box, and little tiny hats," Durk said.
She said the afghans were donated by more than 100 women, most of whom are from Missouri. The women were asked to pray over the afghans as they crocheted, knitted, quilted or sewed them.
"It's a labor of love," Fischer said. "I've been blessed with two children and five grandchildren, and to think of losing one, I can't even imagine the heartbreak it would bring."
The women attach a small card to each afghan with the name and even a message from the person who made the blanket. On the opposite side of the card, parents can write the baby's name and date and time of birth.
"It's been a real blessing to help someone in need of love, prayers, and them knowing that we care about them," Galloway said. "This ministry is as much a blessing to us as it is for the families who receive them (the afghans)."
Shipping costs, as well as the cost of some supplies, are funded through donations and through Core's memorial contributions.
If you would like to make a monetary donation, an afghan donation or a donation of supplies to Afghans for Angels, you may contact Durk at 635-8359, Fischer at 761-4582 or Galloway at 635-7587. Completed afghans may also be dropped off at First United Methodist Church, 201 Monroe St.
For more information about Afghans for Angels, visit www.afghansforangelsmissouri.org.