Recently, 20 marvelous members gathered to assemble packages for two of our Operation Hugs programs that help young children.  The members formed two assembly lines, with one team packing Bedtime Hug Pillows and the other packing Baby Bundles.  The pillows are handmade by the Hugs Team of the Dunbarton Community in Bristow, featuring colorful designs and kid-themed patterns, and are packed with a Beanie Baby, a toothbrush and paste, and a book.  We hope the pillows help kindergarten students develop a good bedtime routine and provide comfort.

Our members put a lot of effort into selecting the perfect Beanie Babies to match the Hugs pillows.  For example, sea creatures like fish, frogs, crabs, and dolphins were chosen for pillows with ocean patterns, while tigers, lions, or giraffes were chosen for pillows with jungle themes, and cats or dogs for patterns showing pets.

The Baby Bundles Team also had a great time preparing their packages.  Most of the handmade baby blankets, afghans, and hats were provided by the Dunbarton Hugs Team and the Craft Club of Nativity Church in Burke; a few made and donated by a member.  These items were carefully assembled into gift packages that also included onesies and clothes, bibs and burp rags made by a member, a book to read to the infant, and a pamphlet about SIDS.



In less than 90 minutes, we packed 270 Hugs pillows that were delivered to 4 elementary schools for their kindergarten students.  One counselor thanked us for the pillows and mentioned: “They will certainly support our SEI (Social Emotional Learning) interventions for managing the blue, yellow, and red zones of emotions.” We also packed 94 Baby Bundles that were intended for new mothers and their babies who are being cared for at a clinic in Fairfax County serving low-income families.

The mission of the day and the beauty of the items we packaged combined for a fun time, filled with laughter and camaraderie – additional benefits of Assistance League membership.