Church fire not keeping group from mission of helping Valley families

TOLLESON, AZ - Her name fits.

Through sewing, Joy Burton brings joy into the lives of Valley families. She and a group, called Sewing for Babies, dedicate their lives to making clothing and blankets for premature babies.

The problem is most of her supplies, sewing machines, and other materials were burned in the fire that ripped through a Tolleson LDS church.

"We don't have any more quilt matting. This is it," she showed ABC15 outside her home, which has become a temporary place for what is left.

Aside from some last-minute donation and the samples she takes pride in showing, there is not much left.

"We lost about $3,000 worth of flannel, we had about 10 sewing machines," she said.

The list of what was lost is long, and it's hard to think about it.

But Burton's passion is unrelenting.

"You sow the seams on the outside of the clothing like this so that they're not rubbing on the baby's tender skin," she showed us.

Burton has been doing this long enough that some teens may have benefited from her work.

"It gives parents a lot of hope," she said.

"They don't know if their babies are going to be alive or dead. Then when they see them dressed up in a cute little outfit it gives them renewed hope and they think, 'Oh, gosh, maybe it's going to be a regular baby after all and maybe we'll get to take him home,'" she added.

Her passion is driving by inspiration: a sick daughter she lost.

"I want be able to take away some of the heartbreak," she said.

And maybe that's what keeps her going.

It's nothing a fire can destroy.

"Sixteen years of supplies and hard work and now we're going to have to start from scratch," she said.

To help Joy and her team, go to

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