“Giving Back to the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1998, 68
Giving Back to the Lord
In the summer of 1992, Carol C. Green was dismayed to learn that many pediatric nurses spent their own money on clothes for needy newborns. And sometimes, when these babies died, hospital staff would have to bury them in paper sacks.
Never again, she told herself. At least, not while I can do something about it. She started making phone calls to area hospitals, adoption agencies, crisis centers, and homeless shelters to find out how she could help. The demand for baby items amazed her.
Just one week later, on 7 July, she created Newborns in Need, a volunteer organization that makes and donates hospital gowns, blankets, teddy bears, burial layouts, and other articles to organizations that provide for premature and newborn infants and their families. Since that time, about 20 satellite organizations throughout the United States have been formed, and thousands of babies have benefitted from the compassion and response of numerous volunteers and donors.
With the enthusiastic support of Sister Green’s six children and particularly her husband, Richard, their home has been turned into Newborns in Need headquarters, where Sister Green does everything from sewing to storing items to letter writing. Known in her community as the “Mormon Baby Lady,” she is frequently stopped at the grocery store or other public places and informed of crisis situations where she may be of help.
Sister Green attributes much of the organization’s success to the community, which has “really backed us up.” One day each month the Houston Missouri Ward hosts a day-long work meeting at which people help sew for the organization. Many of the participants are not members of the Church. “Ours is a nondenominational organization, but people know that those behind it are LDS,” she says. “In my brochures I quote King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon. We open and close our meetings with prayer. It’s given the Church a high profile and shown people that Latter-day Saints do care.”
Sister Green says she sees the Lord’s hand in her work. On one occasion when a work meeting was fast approaching, she had no fabric to use. “I gathered my children into my office and we said a prayer, telling Heavenly Father that we really needed his help,” she recalls. “Then I pointed to the closets and said to my children, ‘I promise you they will be so full that things will spill out onto the floor.’” It wasn’t more than two days later that a semitruck from a clothing store came by with a load of sheets, towels, bedding, and children’s clothing—too much for the closets in her office to hold.
“It isn’t a sacrifice,” says Sister Green. “It’s a privilege and an honor. All I have comes from the Lord—I’m just giving some of it back.”
Sister Green is Young Women secretary in the St. Robert Missouri Stake.