Local mom donates thermal totes and blankets to Vassar Brothers Medical Center

Posted: 2/14/2018

Monica Freer knows how it feels to have a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“Four of my six children started their lives in the NICU at Vassar Brothers Medical Center,” Freer said. “I can really relate to these families. It is a joyful and stressful time all at once.”

With a passion for giving back to the community and a personal connection to the NICU, the East Fishkill resident began the Thirty-One Gifts thermal tote program, designed to bring a little sunshine and love to NICU families during this stressful time.

“I love to give back to the community and so do my customers. As a former NICU mom, I wanted to give these families a little surprise to brighten their day,” she said.

Filled with journals, game books, hand sanitizer, tissues, snacks and other essential and fun items, Freer and her customers created and donated 31 thermal totes and 20 handmade baby blankets to the NICU.

“The insulated thermal totes are great for bringing breast milk and snacks back and forth to the NICU, and they can be repurposed to fit the needs of the family as the child grows.”

This year’s donation is part of more than 150 thermal totes donated by Freer and her team to the medical center over the past three years.

To learn more about Thirty-One Gifts, visit

For more information about the neonatal intensive care unit and maternal services at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, visit

Monica Freer, far right, a director for Thirty-One Gifts and former NICU mom, donates 31 thermal totes and 20 handmade baby blankets to Vassar Brothers Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Friday, February 8, 2018.

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