Tuesday, the March of Dimes gave handmade Halloween costumes to a Kansas City hospital’s smallest patients.
Volunteers made the costumes for premature babies at Saint Luke Hospital of Kansas City’s NICU. Each piece was made of felt and glue in a controlled room in the hospital to ensure it was safe and sanitary for the developing newborns.
Photographer Emmalee Schaumburg was one of three volunteer photographers who made pictures of the costumed kids, dressed as Captain America, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, butterflies, ladybugs and Kansas City Royals players.
Schaumburg began volunteering at the hospital earlier this year, photographing babies every other month. Like all of the photographers involved in this project, she knows what it’s like to have a child in the NICU. Her daughter was born prematurely, at 3 pounds and 6 ounces, and will soon celebrate her third birthday.
Rebecca Keunen, March of Dimes NICU support coordinator at Saint Luke's and also a former NICU mom, said her team came up with the idea to provide costumes to the 35 families with babies in the hospital over the holiday. Keunen's mother-in-law even came up with the costume patterns.
"It’s such an intense emotional experience," Keunen said. "Things like this that bring so much joy and light in the unit are so important for families."
In addition to the costumes, the March of Dimes provided families with a “Trick or Treat, smell my feet” card with their baby’s footprints, a hand crocheted pumpkin filled with treats and a Halloween book.