Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My inspirations.

I've written about this many times before, in other posts and in other places, but it is worth a re-telling as I'm seeking help with my donations... to share the story that got us here. The story of how Henry, this gorgeous blue eyed boy, arrived in our lives.

Henry was born 6 weeks prematurely just 15 days after my mother died of cancer. I developed HELLP Syndrome and he was born via emergency c-section. His lungs didn't work, and he needed three weeks of care in the hospital before we were able to bring him home.

I can not think of that time in my life without deep sadness. Each birthday Henry has had since then is such a bittersweet celebration. An anniversary of my mother's death, an anniversary of a traumatic birth, an anniversary of nearly losing him and myself. Remembering how awful it felt to have given birth, but to have my tiny child miles away from me every night. How helpless, lost, angry, and confused I was that whole time.

I was lucky that I got to see Henry at least once a day. I was lucky that he lived, and that despite some speech and motor delays he is now 100% *average*, which is all I ever hoped for him. To just be OKAY, to just be normal. And when I think of that guilt-ridden, inhumanly painful time in our lives.... I think about the parents going through it right now. Those who are going through it over the holidays, during a time that is supposed to be filled with family, celebrations, good food and cheer.... not heart monitors, surgeries, brain scans, and that horrible feeling of an empty womb combined with no baby to cuddle.

My mother taught me, through words, and actions, that the best way to get yourself through pain is to help someone else through theirs. So in honor of Henry, in memory of my mother who never got to meet him, and in celebration of how lucky we've been coming through it all... I put my time, effort, and money into this charity project every year. And for those people out there who want to "do something" over the holidays but aren't sure how or who to help, I offer an avenue. Giving gifts to these parents, these parents who feel lost, disconnected, scared and guilty... is rewarding beyond measure. And I'm glad to share that feeling with others who want to help me in my mission.

Progress at the end of October

At the end of this post you'll find a new list of HOW TO HELP, it is forever changing depending on what I've been able to receive so far, and how creative my helpers have been! :)

But first, on to some THANK YOUS. With donated money I've been able to order 12 outfits from Preemie-Yums, and I've also been able to purchase a further 5 outfits and 8 onesies with the rest of the donations! Here are some pics of the clothes I was able to purchase, including a little matching set for preemie twins:

I've also received more thank you cards from some of my lovely card makers over at Etsy. I've received donations from JBart Handmade Cards and Fish in the Attic Studios. Thank you ladies! I have some more etsy sellers contributing cards soon, including myself, and I'll pst links when I get them!

I've also received my first batch of developmental toys, donated by Pam K. via my Amazon Wish List... find it at the top left corner of the blog if you want to donate that way. Thank you, Pam K.!!

And thank you to Jennifer, Stacey, Pam S, and Leah for the cash donations that helped make the clothing purchases possible!!

And now... an updated list of HOW YOU CAN HELP!! :)

I'm restocking my holiday cards next Monday, and all proceeds from purchases made now until 2 mid December go DIRECTLY to buying things for the parents of these preemies and the nursing staffs at the 2 hospitals where I donate. My shop is Coffee Bean Cards.

Click on the link at the top left hand corner of this blog. I've got diapers, developmental toys, socks, hand sanitizers, aromatherapy products, and receiving blankets on the list.

It isn't too late do make me some preemie hats, a blanket or two, some Thank You cards, burp towels, or any other little gift the parents might appreciate.

I need gender neutral receiving blankets, candy, boxes of tea, preemie clothes, developmental toys, votive holders, candles, and baby blankets.

I can use gift certificates from Bath & Body Works, BabiesRUs, Target, Wal-Mart, and also gift certificates for places like Pizza Hut or Jimmy Johns for when I'm feeding the nurses over the holidays too!

Post a link to this page on your blog, your twitter, your facebook, a post in your backyard, your forehead, your office, your knitting group, your friends, your family. If there isn't something YOU can do to help personally, then be a foot soldier and find someone who can donate something themselves, or from their workplace. Spread the word!

Contact me via email at and paypal me money to use for clothing, gift bags, boxes, tissue wrap, food for the nurses, candy, socks, and everything else that I'll need as the delivery times get closer.

That is it for now - I've got a lot of good news to share soon hopefully once I receive a few promised donations! THANK YOU EVERYBODY for helping me help these parents in a really, really difficult time in their lives. :D

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Donation Pictures

I've finally had enough sunshine outside to take some decent photos of some recent donations. :) I've got several promised donations still floating around out there, but some of the items have finally started filtering in, and they are gorgeous & wonderful. :) At the bottom of this post you'll find items I STILL NEED if you are interested in donating to the cause.

For the cash donations so far, thank you Heather, Trish, Vicki, Brian, and Mariclar! Your money will be spent at Preemie-Yums to buy discounted preemie outfits.

Thank you Melissa at Stirrup Queens and Kristen at Dragon Dreamer's Lair for all the shout outs and traffic!

Thank you Sharon from CardMaven and Molly from MollyLee for my first batches of gorgeous thank you cards!

Thank you Lesley from Oh Sew Cute for the beautiful burp cloths, wash cloths, and tissue holders, I love them!

And thank you Cheryl from the blog Cheryl Looking Forward for the aromatherapy donations!!

And thank you Veronica, who doesn't have an etsy shop BUT SHOULD, for these absolutely gorgeous quilts to be given to the families.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Donations for Clothing

I'm about 10 days away from ordering the preemies clothes to go in the bags, and anyone wanting to make a cash donation ... now would be a good time! The clothes are by far the most expensive thing I buy for all these preemies. I'm making 40 gift bags, 20 for each hospital, and putting at least one preemie outfit in each of them.

I've receive a few other donations today of cards and aromatherapy things, I'll post pictures soon, I'm expecting even more mail in the enxt day or two with blankets, hats, cards, and other preemie goodies.

Thank you everyone who has helped so far... there is still so much to do!! :)