The Greater Newark Chapter of Newborns in Need held its first quilting party this month, piecing together 37 quilts in two days.

The Greater Newark Chapter of Newborns in Need held its first quilting party this month, piecing together 37 quilts in two days.

"Thirty-seven quilts is a lot in two days," said Ann Marie Van Guilder, president of the Newark chapter.

Van Guilder said the quilting party was held at the St. Peter and Paul Retreat Center on Thornwood Drive in Heath. Thirty-three people showed up to help over the two days. Most were quilters, but even those who didn't quilt helped iron material and did other tasks.

The local chapter will donate the quilts to seven hospitals and other local organizations that support new mothers.

"We like to do things for babies," Van Guilder said.

That is the mission of Newborns in Need, a nonprofit national organization formed in 1992 "to take care of sick and needy babies and their families; and in cases of crisis, to help where help is needed," according to the organization's Web site.

Van Guilder said the local chapter provides clothing and blankets made by knitters, quilters and people who crochet for the Licking Memorial Hospital, the Knox County hospital, Genesis and Bethesda in Zanesville, the Coshocton hospital, Mount Carmel East and the Mount Carmel Outreach Center. Items also are provided to Heartbeats in Licking County and Zanesville.

"We deliver once a month," Van Guilder said.

The quilting party was so successful, Van Guilder said, that the organization is planning a fall quilting party, probably to be held in late September or early October.

The local chapter was started in August 2002 and currently has 75 volunteers who meet monthly to work on projects. Van Guilder said the group meets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first, third and fourth Tuesdays of each month to work on projects at the retreat center. Its monthly meeting is held from 9 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of every month at St. Frances De Sales, 66 Granville St., Newark.

Newborns in Need currently has locations in all but 17 states. According to information from the Web site, the local chapters donated 557,970 items to local hospitals and other organizations last year.

For more information on the Greater Newark chapter, visit www.newbornsinneed.org/grnewark or e-mail Van Guilder at grnewark@newbornsinneed.org.