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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 25, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 06Jul00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Kennewick family offers warmth to newborns
Kennewick WA Tri-City Herald 20Jun00 P2
By Xiao Zhang: Herald staff writer

KENNEWICK, WASHINGTON -- Horse Heaven Hill Middle School eighth-grader Ashley Fowers enjoys making quilts. She likes taking the quilts to the hospital even more. "It's nice to drop them off at the hospital," she said. "You see everybody smile. It's a good feeling to know that it's going to keep a baby warm."

For the past four years, Ashley and six of her brothers and sisters have helped make more than 30 quilts for the newborns from needy families. They are then taken to Kennewick General Hospital where the quilts are available for needy children. Ashley's mother, Candy Fowers, started making the quilts in 1996 as part of a service project for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She helped organize an effort by 600 children to make quilts for the needy before the winter came.

The seasonal project evolved into a year-round family effort. Nurses at Kennewick General say they have never seen Candy Fowers, just her children that she sends to deliver the quilts. Fowers, who has 10 children ranging in age from 33 to 11 said the babies should be treasured. "Little babies should go home and have stars around them."

"I feel rewarded at the thought that it's going to make somebody happy," Fowers said. She sees it as "a hug in a blanket." Son Rob, 33, a resident in obstetrics and gynecology in Tacoma said, "She would stay up until 2 in the morning to make us tuxedos for homecoming at Kennewick High." Fowers majored in clothes and textiles at Brigham Young University and has made most of the clothes that her children wore.

"I think it's very nice," said Kym Moore, a secretary in the maternity department at KGH. "A lot of times there's people who don't have much resources. To be able to come in to the hospital, have the baby and have new clothes for the baby - I think it's a very nice thing to do."

Fowers said she is embarrassed to be thanked. "When I get my kids raised and have more time, I will do some more," she said. "There's always somebody who needs a hug."


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