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

Making Progress For the Love of Babies

Holding Jackson

The first time I held my son Jackson, born at 24 weeks.

We are nearing the half-way mark of Hand to Hold’s For the Love of Babies 100-day fundraising and awareness campaign, and thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual donors, we fully anticipate surpassing our goal to deliver Hand to Hold’s new NICU Resource Library to 100 NICUs across the country in 2013.

The launch of Hand to Hold’s NICU Resource Library reminds me a lot of the day I finally held Jackson for the first time. For six weeks following his birth, I stood vigilant by his bedside willing him to breathe. I sang to him, read to him and prayed over him incessantly. And through it all I marveled at how his birth touched the lives of so many people – many of whom I had never met.

The day the team of nurses laid Jackson on my chest for the first time, I knew instinctively that he would one day grow into a healthy, happy young man. While I expected that the road ahead would not always be easy, I knew his life had purpose and I was going to do everything in my power to ensure he met his full potential.

Birthing a non-profit is not easy. There have been tremendous obstacles and set-backs (not unlike a NICU stay) but there have also been amazing accomplishments and cause for celebration. Knowing we are making a difference in the lives of NICU and bereaved families throughout the U.S. is humbling and keeps us focused on our ultimate goal – to ensure all families have a Hand to Hold during and after a NICU stay.

With the launch of the Hand to Hold’s NICU Resource Library, I feel that same instinctive hope and assurance I experienced when I held my baby for the first time. I knew then that my son would surpass all my expectations. Today, I know that Hand to Hold is well on its way to doing the same.

Thank you for your continued support of our mission. Find out how to dedicate our NICU Resource Library to your favorite hospital or make  donation in any amount to support our efforts to provide more education and resources for NICU and bereaved families.

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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