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NICU Care Packages for Families

If you’ve been with us for the long haul, you might remember that we had a community effort project of NICU Kits that we assembled and donated to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit connections at St. Vincent Women’s and families all over the nation. We had a passion for parents going through the uncertainties and challenges of the NICU and thoughtfully considered things that might have helped our own 5 week stint. It was a wonderful project that fulfilled our desire to give back, and come together to connect with our readers for a bigger cause. Some of our readers donated handmade blankets and hats, notebooks, and a variety of items. Our hospital donated sleep sacks and bags to contain all of the items.

However, right around the toddler stage, it became more of a project than we could handle with four rascals getting into everything, my physical condition, Brad’s job loss, and the challenges of life. We still wanted to find time to put towards it, but keeping up with donations, requests, mailings, and using our own funds just became too much. for that season in life. We packed up some of the remaining ingredients, hoping to return to it soon.

I thought about having Assembling Parties or Donation Drives and how we could make it not so much on us, but regretfully it just didn’t happen…until Sunday.

We cleaned out the storage area under our stairs, and instead of putting the storage bins back, I decided to just make up as many kits as we had leftovers for right then. I made an assembly line with all of the ingredients lined up and before I could even start putting them together I had an army of willing volunteers. The man power I needed several years ago was right under my roof now! 

We put together over 30 kits as a team! Instead of waiting for requests and mailing these, we decided to donate the majority of them back to our NICU to distribute. One of our main Nurse Practitioners who we shot the “Tiny Successes Commercial” with happened to be on shift, so we got to catch up with her. She had not seen the boys in person since they were around four pounds each at their discharge. The boys heard a lot of their story of the NICU days from a new perspective and appreciation.



They have come so far since they made their exit from the NICU and into our home, but we’ll never forget their beginning and those who God put in our path to help preserve their lives. 

So we have a few assembled kits held back for personal contacts and opportunities in the future. Maybe we’ll start a community collection project agin in the future, but for now, we’d LOVE to see ANYONE have the resources to make their own NICU Care Kit.

Here are some of the suggested ingredients we include in our NICU Care Kit Packages:

  • Preemie Sized Blanket
  • Preemie Sized Hat
  • Personalized Name Card for the Isolette
  • Lotion (hands get so dry after washing them constantly)
  • Lip Balm
  • Change for Vending Machines
  • Storybook (We love On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman)
  • Personal Note
  • Travel-Size Kleenex
  • Notebook/Journal (for keeping track of weights, terminology, doctors reports, etc)

We look forward to hearing how you’ve encouraged and loved others through this idea, and are excited about how it can reach so many more families during their difficult journey! 


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Extra! Extra!


Gift: Jen Murray (left) looks at photos after giving a survival kit to Sara Scott, 28, whose premature quadruplets have been in a neonatal intensive care unit at St. Vincent Women’s Hospital since Nov. 25. – Matt Detrich / The Star

Our NICU Survival Kits Made Front Page News!  You can read the full article here.  Keep spreading the word!

We are grateful for the many ways YOU are contributing your own efforts towards this project through blankets, lotions, ideas, time….Lives are being impacted and touched! 

I’m super excited about some things in the works of how you can personally get involved….

A special thanks to Josh Duke and Matt Detrich for their ability to articulate this story through their gifts! 

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NICU Survival Kits: What’s Next? (Update)

Update: Isella went to be with Jesus this afternoon.  Although her 3 days on this earth were short, her impact on this world will be long lasting.  Please keep her parents Myka and Ben in your prayers as they face the difficult days ahead.

nicu My heart is heavy for several babies currently struggling in the NICU.  My friend from high school FCA, Myka, gave birth to a sweet daughter named Isella.  There were complications during delivery and things are very bleak right now.  We are praying for a miracle and trusting God’s sovereignty in her sweet little life! Another family friend’s niece delivered a baby boy named Broyan today at 24 weeks. He’s 1 pound 12 ounces and so far is fighting and stable, but the days and even weeks ahead will be very critical.  Another little guy Noah was born recently, even though his due date wasn’t until December.  Would you join me in praying for these sweet precious gifts from God, Isella, Broyan, and Noah, the medical staff, and their families?

Since our last media post on the NICU Survival Kits, I’ve received several emails of referrals, prayer requests, suggestions, and offers to help make preemie blankets and hats for the kits.  This is super exciting to us, because we really want this project to be a blog community effort.  Many of you are contributing just by visiting our blog, because a portion of the modest revenues we receive from advertising on this blog are used to fund the NICU Kits, which cost about $40 a piece to assemble.  THANK YOU!  We are truly blessed to have you as faithful readers and supporters of our family! 

For those of you who are interested in becoming more involved in this project here are some suggestions for things we need.  We would appreciate your ideas, feedback, and any resource suggestions as we continue with this effort!

~ We are in need of a good container/bag/box to put all the goodies in.  Currently I’ve been dressing up a regular large gift bag, which does the trick, but I have visions of a custom box or reusable bag with a nice label on it.  Ideas?  Suggestions? 

~ We are in need of crotcheters and knitters for preemie blankets.  Think “doll blanket” size.  Most of the blankets that I’ve received have been in the 20×20 range…a little longer is fine.  I have a stock pile of about 20 blankets, but we are assembling quite a few lately and they are going quickly. 

~ We would love to find a discount to buy the book, On the Night You Were Born, (affiliate link), in bulk.  We have checked with the publisher (Feiwel & Friends), but were not able to get a bulk rate.  If we order through Amazon we have to pay shipping per book.

~ Ongoing Items in Need:  Gum, Snacks, Hand Lotion, Journals, Disposable Cameras, Chapstick.  Keep your eyes peeled for discounts and sales and tell us about them!

Again, we are not asking for your $ or even donations, just your dag-gone amazing resourcefulness! 

Feel free to leave me a comment here or we’ve set up an email account specifically for our NICU Survival Kit Project at


Thank you for helping our efforts in a project that is sooooo dear to our hearts!  Thanks again for your prayers for Isella, Broyan, and Noah.

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