JOPLIN, Mo. — Some of the youngest patients at Freeman Hospital in Joplin are getting some extra T.L.C. thanks to a new program.
The concept is pretty simple.
The Cuddler Program connects volunteers with NICU babies in need of cuddling.
The project launched on a limited basis just a couple of months ago but now Freeman is ready to expand.
That means a need for more volunteers, people who not only want to hold some of the tiniest babies but are also willing to go through a battery of tests to make sure they’re the right fit.
Sarah Wall, Freeman Cuddler Program: “The social interaction with babies is just so beneficial,” said Sarah Wall, Freeman Cuddler Program. “That’s why I do it, I just feel like it gives them a better start.”
Volunteers for the cuddler program must go through an interview, background checks, drug screenings, a physical and immunizations before they can qualify.