Doctors, Families Rally for Cure for Deadly Birth Defect

Parent's Perspective News Report of Saint Louis Children's Hospital Press Conference

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thomas Jefferson Area United Way Day of Caring - Giving that Gives Back

Since 2007, Breath of Hope has participated in the Thomas Jefferson Area United Way's Laurence Richardson's Day of Caring.  Each year, in September, the Central Virginia's United Way coordinates hundreds of projects for other nonprofits and schools in the area and provides thousands of volunteers to help.  It is the time of year, other nonprofits and schools look forward to receiving volunteers to complete projects they otherwise could not have done without the human power required.

In the summer or 2007, I heard a radio advertisement requesting nonprofit organizations contact our United Way to obtain the volunteers needed for projects for one day.  We knew there was a project that we could untilize volunteers but we also wanted a project which would give back to the community.  Breath of Hope had been supplied infant hand print kits for our Expectant/New Parent Packages by individual Board Members and myself.  We had found a wholesaler which we could purchase these kits for approximately $5 each.  We knew we could assemble them using containers and paris of plaster for less than $5 each.  In fact, the total cost per kit with labels, ziplock bags and instructions are at a cost of about $1.25 each, far less than the cost we were paying.

We also had all our printed materials reviewed and edited by the University of Virginia's NICU staff lead by Robert Sinkin, MD and felt we should give back to them.  On average, 450 infants are admitted each and every year at the NICU there.  Today, a hand print kit is supplied to each and every family who has their baby admitted there.  The remaining are used in Breath of Hope's packages and we have had extra to help send to Project Sweet Peas Projects around the country.

This year we had an amazing group of volunteers from CFA Institute and Banana Republic of Barracks Road come and learn about congenital diaphragmatic hernia, Breath of Hope and help us assemble another 500 hand print kits.  And they see the results which we provide the UVA NICU.  We know that families throughout the area benefit from these simple kits.  We also know the staff at UVA's NICU enjoy giving this small token to families in order to capture their child's first days here on earth.

We thank the volunteers, the Thomas Jefferson Area's United Way (Shaele Wood should receive a metal for her coordination each and every year), PRA International for providing the space to complete this project and the UVA NICU for the inspiration, help and assistance to complete this project for three years.

Next year will be the 20th year of the United Way Day of Caring here in this area.  Twenty years of helping other nonprofits and organizations have volunteers provided so they can help others.  By giving, you give and get and it is returned,

We would also like to promote a wonderful Printer we used this year - their service and quality are amazing!  With very short notice we were able to get our labels and they went over and above the call of duty!  Lepin' Lizard Labels - order your labels from them - they are less than any others we have used and their service is amazing!

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