Sidney Depp has family friends who are foster parents. One experience she had with a foster child inspired her to create The Love Project, which is helping hundreds of babies in the Tri-State.
The baby Depp met was born with 10 different drugs in his system, include opioids. The baby screamed and cried uncontrollably.
Depp, a sophomore at Springboro High School, learned the crying was the result of neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS.
"It broke my heart because (the baby) didn't have any intentions on starting its life so rough," Depp said.
Some doctors say swaddling those babies in receiving blankets can help. That inspired Depp to create The Love Project, a campaign to collect and bring blankets to hospitals caring for drug-dependent babies.
The blankets she delivers bear an ironed-on message: "You are loved. Jeremiah 29:11."
"I want not only the baby as it grows, but the mother to be reminded that God still has a plan and a future, and you should never lose hope," Depp said.
Depp delivers hundreds of blankets at a time in-person to moms with drug-addicted babies at local hospitals.
“No matter what they’ve done, what’s going on in their lives, they still deserve love and should never lose hope," she said.
So far, Depp has donated 1,600 blankets to hospitals across the country.
“Anything we can do to bring mother and baby together will go a long way in helping the babies," said Dr. Henry Akinbi from UC Health's neonatal unit.