Monday, October 18, 2010

A Charity to Help in a Scary Time-

If you are considering a worthy charity to donate to, in any amount, let me share one that I discovered with a cause that is near to my heart.
The Jack & Abby Neonatal Foundation raises money for families of infants in the NeoNatal Intensive Care unit (NICU).  Usually, it's because of premature birth that a baby has to stay in the NICU, and it often requires the transfer of the preemie to a hospital in a large city.  This entails a huge amount of expense outside of the hospitalization:  rooming, food, travel expenses, and gear for the smaller-than-average baby runs up fast.  While some babies spend only a few days, others can be there for six months or more.  This organization, found at helps parents in that situation financially as well as with advice for handling the stress and medical terminology.  It's a scary time....they can help.

Why is this subject dear to me?  My youngest son was born in 2007, approximately 10 weeks early.  He had to be immediately transported to a larger hospital about an hour a way from where he was born.  He spent the next six weeks in that hospital.  It was heartbreaking, because I couldn't immediately travel with him.  I had to wait five days to even see him (but Daddy and Grandma got to go).  In any case, I'll spare you the emotional drama but share that the an organization like Jack and Abby could have been helpful-I had no idea what we were in for. 

The hospital was amazing, and they had an organization that provided small studio cottages for parents of NICU babies at $25 a night...a steal in the expensive location!  But, we could only stay six consecutive nights, then had to leave to offer an opening to another parent, and after a space opened again we'd get another six nights at the low rate.  This saved us a huge amount of money, but even with it, the hotel we had to stay in nearest the hospital was closer to $200 per night (and we weren't there to do anything but sleep).  Being far from home meant living off cafeteria food and vending machine snacks.  In that position, the last thing you want to do is find a restaurant, and the studios didn't feature kitchens.  So, long story short, it was a difficult time, and an organization that can help a parent during such a time is a great thing-especially in that their own tragic experience makes them attune to the needs during this time.

In all, we were fortunate...our rainy day fund came in handy because indeed, it was symbolically stormy!  We now have a perfectly healthy boy, and I credit the nurses and doctors at the NICU for helping him through various crises.  Other parents with longer stays and medical complications may not be as fortunate:  this organization can help them with their preemie needs during and after hospitalization!

If you are looking for an organization to send all your surplus cash lying around, I'm sure they'd appreciate it! Note that it's an .org suffix and not .com, it matters.  Also, they are a 501 (3)(c) charity.  Their page loads slowly at times, please be patient!

*One really cool memory:  the six cottages that the hospital provided were known in the community for their purpose, so occasionally we'd return late at night from the NICU to find a bottle of wine, or vase of flowers, on the doorstep.  Strangers are awfully sweet sometimes!


  1. I'm so glad your little man came through, how awful a time it must have been for you. And I'm so glad you added that memory at the end of your post - it makes me glad to know that people do little things to make the world a better place.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Amy. I'm glad all is well with your son.