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December 06, 2017 06:03 PM

O'Gorman Students Keep NICU Babies Warm For Winter

Sioux Falls

This holiday season, students at O'Gorman are taking time to help babies who could use some extra love.

The students are making what's called a bonding bear. 

It's a small item of comfort for babies in the hospital whose parents can't hold them. Parents snuggle with the bears so the babies can recognize their scent when they go home. 

Battle scars, from bonding bears. 

O'Gorman students, including Elizabeth Carda say it's worth the work. 

"What's better than helping a NICU baby that's fighting for their life? They're so fragile and vulnerable," O'Gorman senior Elizabeth Carda said. 

These students have some help. O'Gorman teachers are manning the sewing machines. 

"This is the easy job, I think the students have the hard job, cutting out all the bears," O'Gorman business teacher Jane Bradfield said. 

For the last couple years, O'Gorman students have made baby blankets for the holiday season. 

"They're always excited about the tie blankets, but this just added another dimension," Bradfield said. 

Carda is the one who came up with the idea of making the bears.  

"It makes me feel really good that a bunch of people are getting together to make bonding bears for them and their families," Elizabeth Carda said. 

Carda also knows first hand what it's like to have a loved one in the NICU.

"My aunt had a baby that was in the NICU," Carda said.

Her cousin is 10 now, but the memories of that time in the hospital remain. 

"It's definitely a struggle. We said a lot of prayers, but he's fine now. He's healthy and very athletic," Carda said. 

The struggle that inspired this student, hopes to ease those families currently in the NICU. 

Students gave up their lunch hour to make the bears, which don't have any stuffing that could be dangerous for the sick babies.

The tie blankets are going to the Teddy Bear Den, and the bears will go to the Sanford NICU. 

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