After listening to a representative of Nationwide Children's Hospital discuss volunteer opportunities at a blood-drive coordinator meeting in 1997, Betty Gallagher was introduced to an organization that makes a vital difference to the health and well-being of tiny premature babies – Touching Little Lives. It was at that moment that she decided to put her favorite hobby to good use.
Betty joined ranks with other Touching Little Lives volunteers to use her hobby of crocheting to make blankets and baby clothes for needy families throughout Ohio. The extremely small size of premature infants makes it difficult to find clothing, and it’s often expensive. These handmade items are donated to more than 50 hospitals and support agencies across Ohio.
In 2012 alone, Betty has dedicated close to 600 hours to Touching Little Lives by crocheting one afghan and one hat per week, which supplied a warm welcome to 52 babies across Ohio. Betty also trains and recruits other volunteers – including Nationwide colleagues – organizes lunchtime crocheting sessions and assists with fundraisers. Her efforts helped create the 40,000 items that were donated to Ohio babies during 2012. The recipients of her service may be tiny, but their well-being holds a special place in the hearts of their families.
Nationwide is proud to name Betty its 2013 Volunteer of the Year. Her dedication to Touching Little Lives exemplifies Nationwide’s mission, promise, values and character. She is a tireless advocate for protecting the lives of those during a time of significant need with a heartfelt, personal approach she delivers one stitch at a time.
Betty is a senior mail clerk with Nationwide in Grove City, Ohio. She will receive a grant for Touching Little Lives, two days of paid time off and a brick engraved with her name will be installed in Jeffers Park. The other nine finalists will also receive a grant for their organization as well as one day of paid time off.
To learn more about Touching Little Lives, or to contribute or participate in their mission, visit their website at touchinglittlelives.org.