Philanthropy…something those of us that work in the non profit world depend on for survival. As Founder and President of NICU Helping Hands I am constantly in awe of the tireless dedication and devotion of our supporters. Whether it is a $10 donation to help us give a “pick me up” gift card to a family with a premature infant in need of Starbucks to lift their spirits or a $3000 donation towards a table at our annual Burgers 4 Babies fundraiser; all of our donors help make serving families of babies hospitalized in the NICU possible. Most of the time our supporters are adults, but we have a wonderful population of young supporters as well. Young men and women volunteer for us in a variety of ways – helping with holiday parties, preparing art and craft projects for siblings, and breaking down boxes in our Angel Gown Warehouse.
Recently I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know our youngest volunteer Angel Gown seamstress. Her name is Savy Sage Gray, she is 10 years old and is in 5th grade in Kansas. She comes from a long line of seamstresses. Both her mother and grandmother sew for NICU Helping Hands. I asked her why she wanted to sew for us and she said “I saw mom do them and wanted to”. Savy’s first sewing project was the hardest item to make – our Angel Wrap. It has to be perfectly square to be usable by NICU Helping Hands and as the photo shows hers is just right. Many of our experienced seamstresses fret over those little 10×10 inch squares, but Savy did them perfectly on her very first try. When I asked her if she knew what the wraps and gowns were for she answered very simply that “they are for the little babies that don’t get to go home from the hospital”.
Savy is a remarkable young lady, learning at a very tender age some wonderful life lessons at the feet of her mother and grandmother. She is learning a skill that most young people do not learn. In today’s society the art of sewing has been replaced with video games and texting – but not in the home where Savy is growing up. Her mother Jen routinely volunteers her time sewing not only angel gown garments for NICU Helping Hands but wonderful costumes for her local community theater. Savy is also learning the importance of compassion and giving back to those less fortunate. Not only does she volunteer for NICU Helping Hands she also serves with her local Arts Council, works for the movie theater and serves in her community theater as well. The compassion she feels for others is resulting in her actively making a difference for someone else – often times someone she doesn’t even know.
Philanthropy comes in all different shapes and sizes. But it also comes from all different ages as well. You don’t have to give a lot of money to make a difference in the world. You simply have to care long enough to recognize that there is someone who has a need and then find a way to meet that need. Savy has done just that. Her two beautiful angel wraps will be beautifully packaged and sent to a family grieving the loss of their baby. They will find comfort in the knowing that someone they don’t even know cared enough to sew a perfect 10×10 square wrap for their beautiful child to be cradled in for their final journey home.
I am honored that Savy has chosen to give her time and talents to NICU Helping Hands and I applaud her dedication to doing good in our world. She is an angel among us, setting a wonderful example for us all by serving others in need.
To learn more about ways you can volunteer with NICU Helping Hands please visit our website at https://www.nicuhelpinghands.org/lend-a-helping-hand/volunteer/