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Volunteers Pay it Forward to Mesa grandmother devoted to helping newborns

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Marilyn Freeman loves playing the organ, but it's the Mesa grandmother's other hobby that's making a big difference in her community.

"It makes me feel great," said Freeman. "It warms a place in my heart."

Just about every room in Freeman's Mesa home has some type of fabric or box of yarn that she uses to making baby blankets, bibs, hats and quilts, that are then donated to new moms across the Valley.

For the past 20 years. Freeman and her fellow volunteers have been making care kits for newborn babies.

Their group, Arizona Needy Newborns, donates more than 2,000 items a month to hospitals and women's shelters across the Valley.

 "I'm hoping they realize someone cares, that they are not alone and that there is help available," said Freeman.

Needy Newborns volunteer Alyce Downer has seen how devoted Freeman is, often spending her own money on supplies while dealing with a debilitating illness like MS.

Downer reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to her friend, who always puts others first.

"I've watched the station and I've watched all the wonderful people and I kept saying Marilyn ought to be a recipient because she does it selflessly," said Freeman.

"She loves the babies and loves to serve"

A CBS 5 news crew followed along when Downer and some friends showed up to surprise Freeman.

 "You are such a caring person and you've done so much for babies in community," Downer said.

"You give of yourself constantly no matter what disability is to you, and you do this with n open heart and I just wanted to thank you. Here is $500 for you because you are such a loving, caring person."

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