Bundles of Love volunteers honor founding member - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Bundles of Love volunteers honor founding member

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Larsen helped start the group 20 years ago to help newborn babies and their parents feel loved and welcome.

Jo Anne Larsen came to Assisi Heights expecting to help make bundles of love one last time.

Instead, dozens of volunteers surprised her with a show of gratitude.

Larsen helped start Bundles of Love after retiring from nursing at Saint Marys Hospital.

That's when her daughter pointed out she could use her hobby of sewing to make a difference.

They decided to help babies.

"It's fun to make little things," Larsen said. 

The group sews blankets and newborn clothing and then distributes bundles of love to area hospitals for staff to pass along to newborns. 

"We have at least four scrapbooks full of thank you notes that are in our workroom," she said. 

Larsen plans to retire from leading the group in order to focus on her health. 

"She is just such a special person and she has done so much in the community," said Sharon Landsworth, another volunteer from the group. 

She will be stepping in as the group's new coordinator. 

"I came and I think I made a gown, and I sewed the wrong sides together and for all my sewing experience I was very embarrassed," she remembered. "But Jo Anne was so thoughtful and said oh that's fine, we'll just rip it out and do it all over."

Larsen says the decision to retire from the group was difficult, but the volunteers will continue to make a difference.

"It feels good to give," Larsen said. "I think everyone feels that way. When you help somebody else you help yourself too. It feels really good to give and to know that that person knows that you care."

Last year alone, the group donated 465 bundles in the Rochester area.

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