Lubbock nurses help in 'Sharing the Weight'

Lubbock nurses help in 'Sharing the Weight'

They're snipping, they're sewing so they can start sharing the weight.

"Kind of like a bear hug," Monica Kidder said. She first heard of the non-profit Sharing the Weight when she lived in the Midwest.

"A friend of mine named Marci Prose, she lives in Ottumwa, Iowa. Marci and her husband Adam have four children. Three of which have some sort of special needs," Kidder said. The Prose's son, David, struggled to sleep.

"For two and half years he slept 15 minutes at a time. That was it," Kidder said. So the Prose tried a weighted blanket.

"It was almost a miracle. Like two days he was sleeping eight hours," Kidder said.

Darla Smith has seen how effective the blankets can be too. Her grandson, Connor, has autism.

"He's had his blanket for about a month and a half now. It's made a tremendous difference in his life on sleeping, he's doing better in school, so it's just sort of calming him down a little," Smith said. However, weighted blankets aren't cheap.

"Anywhere form $150 to $500," Smith said. Smith and Kidder are both nurses in Lubbock and teamed up to start a local chapter of Sharing the Weight.

"There's 2300 kids waiting for a blanket, 200 of those are in Texas," Kidder said. They want to bring all those children a sense of comfort at not cost.

"These are for any child that has a neurosensory issue," Kidder said. Research has found firm pressure stimulation releases serotonin and can calm a child's nervous system.

"There are so many pockets in the blanket, we fill up each pocket with the correct weight of pellets. That weight is a comfort to them," Kidder said."It's usually 10 percent of the child's weight. So, we're sticking with three pound and five pound blankets for right now." They're busy building blankets, with donated materials and donated time.

"An hour a pound. A three pound, about three hours. A five pound, about five hours," Smith said. For Smith and Kidder, it's time they're happy to invest.

"Being able to help other people that maybe don't have the means," Smith said.

How you can get involved:

The Lubbock Chapter of Sharing the Weight is hosting a blanket making party on Saturday, February 27 from 1 - 5 p.m. at the Margaret Talkington Center for Nursing Excellence, Room 118. The address is 1919 Frankford Avenue.

Volunteers are asked to bring a sewing machine, scissors, thread, straight pins, and 1 to 1.5 yards of cotton material with a coordinating solid.

For more information contact Monica Kidder at 270-403-4113 or Darla Smith at 806-789-9408.

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