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Helena company helping to provide blankets and hats for newborns

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA — Using the connections he’s made through his company, Iron City, Kolby Jackson and his wife Kristen Jackson identified and are seeking to address the need for blankets and hats for newborn babies who are leaving the hospital.

Kristen saw this need firsthand working as a registered nurse doing phototherapy for newborns between the years of 2013 and 2017. She decided to create Blankets of Love, which seeks to address the need.

With this knowledge, Kolby used his resources through his pest company to begin networking and developing relationships to help support the efforts of the program to ensure that families leaving the hospital could feel secure in knowing their newborn would have two of the important items they need.

“Kristen was doing that for years and she just kept noticing and mentioning these stories about people using their ovens or space heathers to heat the home and didn’t have a good way to heat the home,” Kolby said. “One of the most common things people do for babies is swaddle them with these blankets, which is a big deal for the babies.”

Knowing that helping to provide something like that would be very impactful, Kolby found a way to reach out on a personal level to help collect items.

“We collect blankets and hats for newborn babies for when they get out of the hospital, for families in need,” he said. “A healthcare provider will let us know that there is a need and we will get these two items and provide it for the families in need.”

To date Kolby estimates that he and Kristen have been able to help more than 150 families, and they hope to continue to provide the service because of the impact it has.

“It is about being sincerely connected to the people in the community,” he said. “We saw a need and filled it because that was the right thing to do.”

Kolby is able to prop up the effort through his company Iron City Pest by networking with his customers and others that he meets to help support the community.

“We are very delicate in how we present it. We do not exploit this program as a way to promote the business, it is the other way around. The business is a way to get the word out to people,” Kolby said. “We want to make sure that people know this is not selfish, we do not profit off of this. It is purely designed to help others.”

Since they were able to really kick into gear, Kolby said that they have made significant progress and have really noticed a lasting impact being made on the families they are helping.

“Even though it is something so small, this raises the standard of living and helps to meet basic needs of people who are not having them met, especially with children,” Kolby said.

Additionally, Jackson’s mother Kim Meeks helps support a similar cause as a hospital chaplain by receiving donations of clothes for adult patients.

“She takes donations for adult patients who are at the hospital,” Jackson said. “They will have people come in just to stay overnight. She is always looking for things like men’s pants or very specific items that might help them.”

Those interested in helping to support the Blankets of Love program or helping Meeks can fill out a contact form at Ironcitypest.com or call or text Kolby at 205-917-9747 or Meeks at 205-381-6767.

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