Savannah charities reach out to families of infants in need

By Christine Lucas
(Originally posted November 30, 2012 on

The Telfair Birthplace at St. Joseph’s Candler just received its first donation of hand-sewn outfits from the new Savannah chapter of the Threads of Love Foundations.

The nonprofit sewing ministry based out of Watson, La., creates burial gowns and preemie clothes, with the help of many volunteers, and donates them to appreciative hospitals and parents enduring extremely difficult situations.

Angela Lee is the wife and mother of three who started the Savannah chapter of Threads of Love after reading about it on a blog.

“I have sewn for a very long time,” she says. “I don’t knit or crochet, but I knew I could put my hands on some people who did. I thought, you know, why not use my gifts that God gave me to bless someone else.”

Beth Unterseher, who helped deliver the first batch of items to St. Joseph’s Candler, was doing costuming for theater productions at Savannah Christian Church when she learned about this charitable outlet for her talent.

“I’ve only been knitting about a year, actually,” Beth admits. But that hasn’t stopped her from venturing into the production of tiny booties, hats and outfits. Threads of Love has copyrighted patterns that are appropriate for a 9-ounce miscarriage on up to a full-term baby.

“In my family, we have lost very small children, so just the thought of being able to help and do something with that was just great,” Beth says.

Threads of Love founder Sissy Davis recalls its humble beginnings. She and her husband have a blended family of five grown children, and in 1993 she was still a working school bus driver. Sissy wanted something more, though. In her words, she had “warmed a pew” for many years, but she didn’t feel that she had given uniquely of herself in a way that she might have.

“I prayed that others would see Jesus in me,” Sissy remembers. “I didn’t really realize what I was praying for.”

Soon she learned about a request made by Dr. Rachel Houseman, a pediatrician at Earl K. Long Hospital in East Baton Rouge. Dr. Houseman wondered if any volunteers would be willing to make internment gowns. “My mother lost a little boy who lived eight and a half hours – when I was 12,” Sissy explains. She believes God put a tender place in her heart for a kindness that would be asked of her years later.

By 1994, Sissy was retired. She’d recruited some volunteers through local church bulletins, but the seamstresses could not keep up with the demand.

(Read the full article here.)