Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Celebrating 5 Years of Impact in the NICU Community

NICU mom and Hand to Hold volunteer Erica P visits with a fellow mom at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas, Texas at a recent Mother's Day celebration.

NICU mom and Hand to Hold volunteer Erica P. visits with a fellow mom at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, Texas at a recent Mother’s Day celebration.

Parenting a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and founding a nonprofit have much in common. Both require a strong faith, sheer determination and a community of support. And just as I marvel at the tremendous obstacles my micropreemie (now 14 years old) has overcome, I am humbled by the impact Hand to Hold has had in the lives of tens of thousands of NICU and bereaved families across the country since its founding five years ago.

Thousands of parents receive support through our national Helping Hand, peer-to-peer support program and online support forum, Life after NICU. Thousands of families join us monthly for our NICU 101 Facebook chats with healthcare professionals, and thousands more follow our parent blog, PreemieBabies101. Hospitals across the country utilize our NICU Resource Library to foster communication and education opportunities with NICU families, and Hand to Hold’s special resources for NICU siblings help children understand why their baby brother or sister must stay in the hospital.

To celebrate five years of tremendous impact in the NICU community, we have launched a special $250,000 5-Year Birthday Campaign for 2015. Funding will allow us to meet the growing demand for our services and expand our resources to reach even more NICU families.

The Mrs. Band at the Hand to Hold 5 Year Birthday Kickoff

Andra Liemandt (second from left) and The Mrs. rock band, with Kelli Kelley (third from left) at Hand to Hold’s 5-Year Birthday Campaign Kickoff on May 1, 2015.

During our campaign kickoff event in Austin, Texas on May 1st, we announced that Andra Liemandt and her band, The Mrs., have generously pledged $25,000 for the campaign with the promise of an additional $25,000 if Hand to Hold raises $50,000 by September 30th.

We hope you will feel inspired to help us reach our goal! Your tax-deductible donation can be made online, or you can make your check payable to Hand to Hold and mail to 13492 Research Blvd, Suite 120, PMB 237, Austin, TX 78750.

5 Reasons to Celebrate: Hand to Hold Milestones

  • Development of comprehensive navigation resource tools, including the NICU RESOURCE LIBRARY, endorsed by the National Perinatal Association. Fifty-four libraries have been placed across the country. Hospitals from 37 states and the District of Columbia, 5 Canadian provinces and Ecuador utilize Hand to Hold’s educational materials and/or promote our Helping Hands peer mentor program.
  • Introduction of NICU GRADUATE HANDBOOK, a post-discharge guide for NICU parents to educate them about their baby’s unique developmental and health care needs, giving them the tools and information they need to partner with their therapists and health care providers to ensure best outcomes for all babies.
  • Growth of national, award-winning HELPING HANDS network of trained NICU graduate parent volunteers. Each Helping Hand provides individualized peer-to- peer support to new NICU parents.
  • HANDTOHOLD.ORG recognized as a leading online resource for NICU and bereaved families and medical professionals, with access to free online resources. (Welcomed more than 250,000 unique visitors in 2014).
  • Active SOCIAL MEDIA community with an impressive following of 32,000+ NICU parents and medical professionals.

Thank you for considering a gift in support of our 5-Year Birthday campaign.

Let’s ensure that every NICU parent has a hand to hold!

P.S. Would you like to see how your financial contribution made a difference in 2014? Please review our Annual Report, released earlier this month.

Kelli Kelley About Kelli Kelley

Founder, Hand to Hold - Kelli D. Kelley (TX) is the mother of two preemies – Jackson born at 24 weeks in 2000 and Lauren born at 34 weeks in 2003. She is the founder of Hand to Hold, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated providing support and navigation resources to families who had a preemie, who had a child in the NICU or with a special healthcare need, or who experienced loss. She has experienced the emotional fallout and isolation that having preemies often causes. As a direct result, Kelli has dedicated her life to offering hope and sanctuary to all parents who have had similar journeys. Contact her via email.

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