Last fall when Luke and I set out to launch The Pink Zebra Club, we committed to carrying out a specific set of initiatives over the course of its first year. Our hearts were being pulled to give back to the community that helped guide us through Olivia’s journey, and we understood that sadly, each year, there would be more families finding themselves in similar situations: facing long term stays in the NICU, critical and often complex medical needs of their babies, and infant loss.
Having so recently walked that road, we knew there were concrete and practical ways we could support families like ours. So we sat down and set forth a list of goals that we felt as a family we could fulfill in 2017. What we didn’t know at the time, was just how much support we would receive from you – our friends, our families, and complete strangers!
As 2017 Q1 comes to a close, we want to say THANK YOU. Thank you to everyone who has financially contributed to our cause. Thank you to everyone who has offered to help fill care packages or be of assistance in any way. Thank you to everyone who has asked about our progress and to all who have shared kind words about these efforts.
It’s also time to provide a quick organization update for all of you following and those who have contributed this year. It’s important to share the work we’re doing, so you know exactly how your donations are being put to use!
Here’s a look at what we’ve done this quarter:
We are excited to share that since launching in November we have raised just shy of $5,000. Considering that we were prepared to fulfill all of our 2017 goals by ourselves, this is amazing. It means we can continue the work of this organization beyond 2017, and reach even more families than we had planned (perhaps in different states!).
10 out of 30 Care Packages
In February we delivered our first round of 10 care packages to the NICU’s Child Life department. The bags are being presented to moms (or caregivers) who were celebrating their baby’s one month birthday in the NICU. Each bag includes a notebook for journaling, a copy of On The Night You Were Born to read to baby, a gift certificate to the hospital’s coffee shop, and assorted personal items such as dry shampoo, hand lotion, a moisturizing facial mist (a Birchbox favorite!), lip balm, chapstick, makeup remover wipes, and refreshing wipes.
Thanks in large part to all of your contributions, we already have the financial means needed to fulfill the remaining care packages this year. As the NICU occupancy demands more, we’ll deliver the remaining packages.
35 of 40 Books for Bereaved
We also delivered 35 copies of a well respected grief journal to the hospital’s bereavement coordinator in February. Books will be kept on hand throughout the year and given to NICU families following the loss of an infant.
We’ve kept 10 additional copies of the journals with us at home, and plan to offer them to families whose stories of infant loss reach us through channels other than the NICU.
Next we plan to purchase items from the Strong NICU’s “wish list” and donate the gifts to the hospital in honor and celebration of Olivia’s 1st birthday on April 24.
Olivia’s 1st Birthday Wish List
We set out this year with the goal of fulfilling items from their wish list on two special occasions, the first being Olivia’s first birthday which is fast approaching on April 24. It’s wild to think that we’re already entering the month of April, and that it’s been one year since she changed our lives forever. Since she’s not here with us in person, we’re happy to purchase clothes, toys, and medical supplies for other babies in need this month.
We invite those of you interested in honoring Olivia’s 1st birthday to keep an eye out for more information next week on how to join us!
We’ll be curating an Amazon List based on the NICU’s specific requests at this time, and all items purchased from the list will be able to be shipped directly to our home.
We’ll take care of getting the items to the NICU in time for Olivia’s birthday. Alternatively, all donations made to The Pink Zebra Club in the month of April will be put directly towards this “wish list” drive.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the meaningful work we’ve been able to do in just three short months, very much in part to all of your generous contributions. Thank you for your continued support, which is helping to ensure that Olivia’s legacy lives on.
And stay tuned for more information coming next week on Olivia’s 1st Birthday Wish List!