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[December 31, 2007]


It was not three kings but eight women from the Christopher Blenman Senior Center in Crown Heights who brought holiday gifts for newborns and their mothers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

The mothers smiled gratefully as they were presented with blankets, hats, and booties crocheted by 25 seniors from the center.

“I think it was a nice gesture that they made something personal that my child and I can remember for a long time,” said expectant mother Kiesha Andall, of Cambria Heights, who received a blanket.

Nurse-educator Sarah Marshall, from Downstate’s Center for Community Health Promotion and Wellness, applauded the seniors’ generosity. “Their decision to give our newborns their first gifts of the holidays shows what the holiday spirit is all about,” she said.

Members of the Senior Center’s arts and craft class created the gifts. They started the project the first week of October and met once a week every Thursday for about two hours. For most of the seniors, it was their first time crocheting but that did not stop them from having fun.

“We are pleased and honored to have been involved in this project,” said the center’s director, Merlyn Bruce. “The seniors are very happy that the mothers loved the gifts and look forward to doing it again next time.”