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!