Family Connection distributes hats to newborns in NICU

December 10, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC – December 10, 2012 – Family Connection of South Carolina, a nonprofit organization that supports families who have children with special healthcare needs, has received 61 hand-knitted hats from Grace Smith, a 14-year-old Columbia native, for newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Palmetto Richland Health hospital.

Smith, who spent more than 150 hours knitting, donated the hats to Family Connection Family Partners who will distribute them throughout the holidays. Family Partners who do NICU outreach provide crib-side support and information to families, addressing both the emotional impact and planning for the baby’s future. They are parents of NICU graduates who know personally what it is like to have a newborn in the NICU.

Kimberly Shoulders, a Family Partner who provides support to families in the NICU once a week, said Smith’s hats truly make a difference.

“It’s a great opportunity to give these families something tangible and make that connection, letting them know that we care about them,” she said. “We want to do what we can to make this experience a little bit less stressful.”

Smith said she learned to knit from her middle school science teacher and has been working on the hats since January.

“It makes me really happy to know we can make the families happy,” Smith said. Her mother echoed this sentiment.

“We love the idea of sharing the hats with Family Connection,” said Nancy Smith, Grace Smith’s mother. “Family Connection comes alongside families that are in crisis, and sharing one of Grace’s hats with them will be a perfect introduction.”

About the organization

Family Connection of South Carolina is a nonprofit organization that provides support, information and resources to families and professionals who care for children with special healthcare needs. The mission is to strengthen and encourage families through parent support. The organization was founded in 1989 by a group of South Carolina parents who have children with disabilities and special needs. Family Connection is the S.C. chapter of Family Voices and the S.C. Maternal and Child Health Bureau Family-to-Family Health Information and Education Center (F2F). The organization is headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and has staff and volunteer parents located in all counties of the state. For more information, find us on facebook and visit

For more information, contact

Seana McKee

Public relations coordinator

[email protected]