Ottawa-area Guardian Drugstores and local knitters have teamed up to provide sets of clothing for premature babies or ‘preemies,’ the small patients of hospital neonatal intensive care units.

Weighing in at between one and four pounds, ‘preemies’ need the high technology and round-the-clock-care of neo-natal intensive care units. But they also need something quite simple: warm clothing tailored to their small size.

Although the joint program is barely a month old, organizers have been overwhelmed by the response. “We’ve received over five hundred knitted sets already,” says Jean Legare, program coordinator at Ottawa’s New Edinburgh (Guardian) Pharmacy.

Knitters in many communities of Eastern Ontario are turning out a regular supply of bonnets, mitts and booties for all the premature babies born at the Ottawa General, Ottawa Civic and Kingston General Hospitals.