What began as one newborn’s struggle to survive in the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU) of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) more than two decades ago has turned into a ministry of love and compassion for the most vulnerable among us — newborn babies with life-threatening conditions.
Taylor Ligan, Pasadena church, graduated from SOULS West last year and is currently a Bible worker for Canoga Park church. Through her Baby Blankets of Love ministry, she has a special opportunity to bring hope and healing to hurting infants and their families in Los Angeles.
Aileen Ligan, Taylor’s mother, recalls the time Taylor spent in the NICCU at CHLA. “She was admitted at two days old,” Aileen said, “and after four months, four surgeries, and one miracle after another, Taylor came home.”
In 2013, Taylor was a junior in high school and wanted to do something for CHLA as part of a community outreach program. Aileen immediately suggested baby blankets for the NICCU. She told Taylor of the time she went to visit her in the hospital and found a beautiful handmade quilt draped over her. “It brought such peace and comfort to see the colorful blanket instead of the sterile, white hospital blankets,” she said.
Taylor’s Baby Blankets of Love ministry was born! That year, KTLA interviewed Taylor telling her story, and more than 200 blankets were collected as a result. Not only churches but also baby blanket manufacturers and other corporations have donated hundreds of blankets. Pasadena, Canoga Park, Panorama City Spanish, and Highland Park Spanish churches have all donated blankets.
Every blanket is given with an illustrated postcard that tells of Taylor’s journey, including the name of the individual, church or corporation who donated the blanket. Pasadena church also includes a GLOW tract and a Story Time book with each blanket.
“I never would have imagined the kind of impact this blanket ministry would have on the patients and their families at CHLA,” Taylor said. “Parents contact us and tell us that just the simple act of giving their child a blanket has given them hope. I know God will continue to use this ministry to help others know about Him.”
On Taylor’s Baby Blankets of Love Facebook page, comments pour in from grateful parents. Nar A Hacobiance posted: “Hi Taylor, my son just received one of your beautiful baby blankets today and it filled my heart with so much joy. He is just 3 months old and I cannot wait until he is your age and can give back just like you are doing now. May God continue to bless you and your family. Thank you for making a tough day a little brighter.”
Taylor will complete her B.A. in education as she continues making tough days a little brighter for the newborns and infants of CHLA.
Visit Taylor’s Baby Blankets of Love on Facebook to learn more or get involved.
Cover photo: Taylor holds up the blanket that was given to her family so many years ago when she spent four months as a patient in the NICCU at CHLA. Photos provided by Aileen Ligan