Welcoming a new child is a momentous and incredibly special experience. The team at University of Minnesota Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic makes it extra special by providing handmade, hand-assembled, specially curated bundles for the newborns through a program called Bundles of Love. Two local churches and volunteers spend time gathering and creating items for the bundles.

Yvonne Giles is a clinic supervisor at Broadway who runs the Bundles of Love program.

“When the OB nurse who started this program left the clinic, I came on board as a patient advocate,” says Yvonne. “I was working with a lot of our patients, some of whom needed resources. I always thought this was so amazing. At one point when the Bundles of Love program was about to end, I took it over so that it could continue.”

Every month the church asks how many bundles are needed so they can provide the necessary items. Many are handmade by seniors–everything from knitted blankets and quilts to specialty clothing like a Mickey Mouse onesie. The bags also contain necessities such as diapers, baby shampoo, pacifiers, bibs, and much more. Yvonne coordinates all of this with the triage nurse who does OB education.

In addition to assembling bundles for newborns and preemies, volunteers assemble packages with clothes and other items for christenings, holidays like Christmas, and care packages for those sad instances when a newborn baby passes away. Each care package is unique, and each one comes with a handwritten note from clinic staff wishing the new family all the best.

Yvonne says that “there are times when we know that grandparents are assisting with care, and we try to make sure that every parent or guardian, regardless of need, gets something. Those that have a higher need receive larger bundles.”

In addition to the church members who provide the Bundles of Love items, another church group called Thimble Bees also assembles care packages that the clinic staff can give to new parents.

“This is just really a blessing to the community that has been going on and never stopped during the pandemic,” says Yvonne. “It truly puts a smile on the faces of these expecting mothers and fathers. It’s a beautiful feeling.”