Volunteer to cuddle a premature baby in Joplin

Local News

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.

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