I have always loved birthdays. Anyone’s birthday…not just my own. Unlike most other celebrations during the course of the year this one is just for you…it is a day that celebrates your existence, who you are and what you mean to those around you. As a child I loved everything about my birthday. The memories of my nanny and what she did to make my birthday special have stayed with me all my life. I still fondly remember the fried chicken and chocolate sheet cake that she made me every year. These two things remain my favorite memories of my birthday celebrations as a child. As my husband and I began our family we made the decision that nothing was more important than the celebration of our boy’s birthdays. Everything is cancelled on their special days – daddy reschedules work, mommy clears the day of meetings, and siblings miss extracurricular activities so that as a family we can celebrate each of their special days. It continues to be magical and important to each of us.
I can clearly remember the days that I gave birth to each of my four boys and just as clearly I can remember the day that NICU Helping Hands was born into being. What started as a simple desire to help families facing the birth of a premature baby has grown into a busy non profit organization that serves thousands of families each year through the many programs we run. This month we are celebrating our 4th birthday as an organization. Just like those sleepless nights with a newborn, our first four years as an organization resulted in many sleepless nights! As we head out of our infant and toddler stage as an organization we see that all those sleepless nights of hard work are resulting in programs that are truly impacting families who are struggling with all aspects of having a premature baby. Whether it be the mother on bedrest trying to avoid premature delivery, the family struggling with the early delivery of their baby, older siblings who are trying to make sense of their world being turned upside down, or the family who is grieving the death of their baby, NICU Helping Hands is reaching out and making a difference every day not only in our local community of Fort Worth but across the country and internationally as well. We have experienced an amazing “growth-spurt” in the last few months with the national coverage we received about our Angel Gown Program and with that has come increased requests from families for emotional, educational and financial support.
To help us continue meeting the needs of families in our local communities as well as across the United States we are asking our supporters to celebrate our 4th birthday by donating gift cards to NICU Helping Hands. Unlike the birthday celebrations at my house where the day is all about the one celebrating a birthday, NICU Helping Hands birthday celebration is all about the families we serve. They are at the heart of our mission and providing financial assistance to them is the best way we know to celebrate our birthday! Whether it is a $5 or $10 gift card that can be used for a quick bite to eat or a $50 gift card that will put gas in their car so they can afford to drive to the hospital every day to see their baby in the NICU each gift we receive from our supporters will help make a difference in the life of a NICU family. That is the very best way we can celebrate our birthday!