Creche Sews Gowns For WCA Hospital Pediatric Patients
Lent is a special time of year for Creche members. During that season, Creche honors its longtime history of sewing for WCA Hospital pediatric patients. Creche was founded in 1900 for the sole purpose of sewing garments for babies in WCA Hospital. That year, Josephine Fenton Gifford, daughter of Gov. Reuben Fenton, suggested that her daughter and her friends meet during Lent to sew baby gowns for the hospital. Creche members have continued to sew every Lenten season since. Even during the war years when sewing supplies were at a shortage, Creche members made sure that money was raised so that garments could be sewn for babies in the hospital. Lenten sewing meetings have become a long-standing Creche tradition that survives to this day, 114 years later.
During this past Lenten season, four different sewing sessions were held in the basement of First Presbyterian Church. A longtime Creche member, Katryn Kotsi, created the unique pattern for the baby and pediatric gowns used today. Creche members completed 43 gowns for pediatric patients. Dozens of hats for newborns were also made and donated this year.
Besides the gowns and garments provided to WCA Hospital, Creche has had a long and rich history of helping the children who were hospitalized at both WCA and at the former Jamestown General. In the early 1900s, one maternity bed for young, single mothers was paid for daily by Creche. In 1936, Creche assumed responsibility for equipping, decorating and maintaining a cheerful and colorful children’s ward at the hospital, and they also assumed the free daily care of one sick child. In 1950 Creche donated $20,000, the estimated cost of a new children’s wing, for “the betterment of the health of the children of Jamestown.” This wing was dedicated as the “Creche Wing,” and maintenance and daily care payments were continued until 1967 when the state Medicaid program was activated. Another renovation of the Creche Wing was undertaken in 1993, and Creche again donated $20,000. Since that time Creche has continued to maintain its support of needed equipment for pediatric and maternity patients at WCA.
Creche, a nonprofit organization, supports children in need and their families in the Jamestown area in many ways. Creche’s primary fundraisers throughout the year are Tag Days and two rummage sales, fall and spring. Volunteers perform all of Creche’s activities, and all funds raised are used locally. To learn more about Creche and its philanthropy, visit the organization’s website at www.crecheforkids.org.