SYRACUSE — As a service project for Kosciusko Youth Leadership Academy, Autumn Yoder, a junior at Wawasee High School, organized the Baskets for Babies project.
She put together baskets for the neonatal intensive care unit at South Bend Memorial Hospital for families who have babies born prematurely or babies with health issues. The baskets contained items such as reusable water bottles, high protein snacks, stuffed animals, candy and encouraging notes.
Thirty baskets were delivered to the NICU at the hospital Easter Sunday and approximately 15 baskets were then delivered to the pediatric intensive care unit. A few more baskets will be distributed soon.
Yoder received monetary donations from the high school, Wawasee Middle School (students from each school also donated basket items) and several area organizations. She also spoke at a Lakeland Kiwanis Club meeting in North Webster.
She became aware of the services in the NICU at the hospital where her newborn brother, Matthew, spent a week. Yoder decided to take action and do the service project after seeing the burdens families experience.