Thursday, December 15, 2011

Barbie NICU

It's been a while since I posted what we've been up to. Never fear we haven't given up on the NICU families. The Stranded family bags continue to be an amazing moment of peace for the families that are transported in a hurry. As some of you know I  have started working closely with the March of Dimes NICU family support attending and helping with different events that they do. One of the things that always concerns the staff and families is how the siblings of the babies don't really understand what is happening with their baby. So pooling a bunch of Danya's Barbie toys, I was able to create a Barbie NICU where the siblings can interact with the "babies" and to open discussion between parents and the kids.
This desk and table was part of a vintage Barbie vet clinic. I changed out the cork board to something more NICU including some graduate photos.
Using some ziplock disposable containers I was able to cut out holes and make some isolettes.

There are also a couple of transition babies in cribs getting ready to head home. ;)
Or some cuties under warmers from the Barbie Baby doctor set.
I found the baby scale on ebay and instantly needed to have it.

As you can see it was a big hit at the Baby shower. The kids took it apart and played with it for quite a while. I was fun seeing them really excited about what their baby is doing.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

In Desperate need

We are going to release this article to the media to try and garner some more attention to our projects because the need is great. Those of you who give faithfully have been such a blessing. I  just recieved word today that the hospital is down to 3 stranded family bags and none of them are girl themed. I am praying that we can get the word out this weekend and that people will choose to participate as we impact the lives of families in crisis.

'MOMS Club of Waipahu, Aiea, and Pearl City has a long history of giving back to their community. We are always seeking different ways to give back to our community. One of our Members began a project called Danya’s Gift in remembrance of the time her daughter spent in the NICU, or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at birth. Through that project we have an excellent relationship with the NICU at Kapi’olani Medical Center. In a cooperative effort we came up with a new idea. The Hawaiian Islands appear close on a map; but the only way to travel between islands is by plane. When a pregnancy is in danger, or a baby is born too early or with a birth defect, the emergency transport team at Oahu's Kapi`olani Medical Center for Women & Children is called into action. Parents feel terrified and alone at the prospect of sending their newborn baby on an emergency transport plane. If space if available, one family member is allowed to fly with the baby. When a mother has just given birth, it is not safe for her to fly. This leaves the dads to travel alone. Focused on the lives of their wife--who must be left behind, and their baby--whose life hangs in the balance; these dads will often go many hours with no food or rest. The Transported Family Bags fulfill a need---they provide these dads, who are learning to be a father under extraordinary circumstances, a little bit of comfort during that terrible first 24 hours. Rather than a throwaway bag we sewed little lunch sized totes to give the families some hope that someday their child will be able to use the adorable little bag, and then we fill the bag with the basics of survival for that first day. The bags contain things like water, instant coffee, soup, spam, toothbrush and paste, lotion, hard candies, laundry soap, shampoo and many more items. Each bag costs approximately $20 to make and fill, but the affects are priceless.
Since we dropped off the bags the March of Dimes NICU family support specialist reports that they have used nearly all of the bags that we were able to put together and they have a great need for more. Danya’s Gift has been working with the Hospital and MOMS Club to coordinate this project. For more information or to help us put more bags together please contact us. All donations are Tax Deductable, and every donation no matter the size helps, Please consider helping us to meet the needs of these families in crisis. Thank you for your interest in our projects."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Come to our Egg Hunt

O'ahu families, please think about joining us for our 3rd annual Easter Egg Hunt. It's at the perfect time to wait for Easter Dinner with a bit of an egg hunt. We are hopeing that some of our guests will think about donating to Danya's Gift as well. We just got word from the hospital that they are using the stranded family bags very fast. I've started making more bags but we need to fill them. They are an amazing way that we give special care to the families here on O'ahu. 
Things we need:
Small packaged foods like Vienna sausages, sardines, peanut butter and crackers, etc.
Granola or "power" bars
Clean socks
Hand lotion
Hard candies
Small servings of canned fruit or pudding
Plastic zip lock bag
Dry washcloth
Small soap
Napkin and spoon
Spam
travel sized toothbrush and toothpaste
soup with pull tab lid (or for the hospital the kind in the microwavable cup)
Bottled Water

Please consider giving to Danya's Gift this Easter season.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Drop off Day

Nearly 4 years ago John and I welcomed Danya into our lives, it was a tough start, but it was that tough start that inspired us to give back when ever we can. On our own we could never do very much. Some days just making sure that the bills are paid and there is enough left over to buy groceries is a challenge, but God always seem to show up when life looks the roughest. Our first couple of Drop offs for Danya's gift were nothing special just a quick in and out to drop it off and maybe tell a little of our story. Those days are long gone, as we now have a very good relationship with the hospital. Infact when our contact in the NICU retired before one of our drop offs we met Auntie Robyn who is amazing. She is a part of the office that handles gifts to the hospital, but the gifts she usually handles are large corporate or estate donations. Ever since our first drop off with her she makes a special time in her day to come around with us and coordinate all the different areas of the hospital we now donate to.

 Danya is old enough now that she is actually quite a little helper when it comes to drop off. We always seem to forget that we don't have a wagon until a day or so before drop off. Once again this year our friends let us borrow their wagon. Our boxes were a bit big for it though and so I had to walk behind to hold them so they wouldn't fall off until we made the first drop off.
 Going in. Working with Robyn has one very nice perk. If you've ever tried to park anywhere in Hawaii and get a toddler out of a car seat you will truely know how nice this perk is. See we have been allowed to park in the physicians lot while we do the drop off. Doctors are always in a hurry and so that they don't slam doors into each other the spots are wider than the ones in the hospital parking ramp. It's a very nice perk complete with the attendant who held the door open for us.
See what I mean by the wagon isn't quite big enough. I think before next year we might have to invest in a wagon without seats or one with seats that hide so that there is better transport space.

Every year Danya greets the fish.
And she always remembers this vanity and tea service. She loves it and while Momma was busy talking to the patient care ladies Danya served tea for herself .  Our first drop off point was in the play room. This is a room where patients can come and check out toys or play if they are not on tons of machines.

This is the place where we drop off all of the party supplies. These 2 big boxes are the party supplies and small bedside gifts that we were able to bring by this year. 
Then it was off to give a special gift to a little girl just Danya's age. Every year I ask them to find a little girl just Danya's age and have her pick out something special for that little girl. This year it was a Fancy Nancy book and Dress that Momma made as well as a lunch tote and a princess balloon. I'm always worried that she will not want to give it to the girl, but she was awesome even telling the little girl her name and saying to her "please, feel better, okay?" And since drop off day was after her adenoids surgery everyone understood her.

After we met up with that little girl there was one place that Danya wanted to be sure and see and that was the babies. We went and took a quick look. There was only one baby, but Danya was so intrigued.

Then it was off to where Danya's gift began. The NICU, or neonatal intensive care unit. This year we brought a few different things for them as well. One thing we brought were little lunch totes filled with snacks and essentials for Dads or other family members who come with a transfered baby, like from one of the outerislands or even farther away in the pacific, and they get to the hospital in the middle of the night with nothing because they were not planing on being relocated to O'ahu with thier baby.




I made lots of these bags and the Mom's Club helped us fill them. Together we made a total of 20 bags! If you want to know what was in them Check out this post over on the Danya's Gift blog. IF you didn't get a chance to help out you can also always visit my etsy store and purchase a lunch tote for yourself and sponsor one for the Stranded parents as well, if you don't have keiki (kids) then you can always request a custom bag for yourself rather than one that is more kid friendly.
Then it was on to the really cute stuff. All the little outfits you guys sent are always a hit. I only had a few that I made this year. There was just so much sewing on my plate, but there were plenty of little hats both knit and sewn. Gammi even learned that you can knit on the airplane.


Danya decided to show just how big she had gotten. She tried and tried to get this little hat on.
Of course we got to meet a couple of nurses too. It was a busy morning int he NICU, which is not a very good thing, but because of that we didn't get to see some of the people we knew.

Three generations of women giving back. I learned about giving from my mom, she is extremely generous and at Christmas I remember going to the store and choosing something for a kid who didn't have any money and then putting it in the toys for tots box. I hope that some day Danya will look back at all of this and say it was the start of her learning how to give back.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Project

This one was born out of a project for our Mom's Club. We were planning to put together homeless bags to give to the homeless that we see along our way on the island, but what we discovered is that with HPD cracking down on camping illegally we weren't seeing many homeless.  So our March of Dimes NICU Support contact came up with an even more exciting prospect. We would donate the bags to the NICU to be given to families who are transfered to O'ahu with their newborn, but were unprepared to do so. Many families are brought to our NICU from the "outer" Hawaiian islands as well as American Somoa and other Pacific islands. Often times it's the dad who is airlifted with the baby and they were not planning on even staying at the local hospital all night and now here they are transfered to another island. So these little care packages will take care of some basic needs.

I've set up a way for you to help and still get something great. The little tote bags that are a part of the care package are just a brainstorm idea that I had. Those first few days in the NICU I carried a little bag with me to and from the NICU with things we wanted to have with. It was sturdy so it didn't tear if moved quickly, but also it could hold the mountain of paperwork that we recieved.

These little totes will also serve that purpose for the famillies. Please check out my etsy store for an easy way to sponsor a bag and get one for yourself.


http://www.etsy.com/shop/mommaloha

If you would rather not accumulate anymore stuff at your house each care package costs $15 to put together. Please consider using the donate button on the right side of the blog.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Think February!

Sometimes there are things that happen that you don't expect. In a couple of weeks Danya heads back to the hospital for an outpatient surgery. It's just something simple, but Gammi from Minnesota will be coming to visit. Gammi has been one of our failthful supporters since the begining, so not only will Gammi's visit help me to have some extra sewing time before drop off, but I would love for her to be a part of the drop off. That means that the drop off will happen some time in the week before Valentines day. 

Another thing that I didn't really expect last month was a donation from Walmart. I sent out letters to all the major retailers in Hawaii to try and get some community funds, for most they sent me letters that said there were just too many requests, but Walmart gave us a $50 donation. So once we know what we are in need of we'll be making a shopping trip to Walmart to pick up the rest.

Please see the list below for how you can help. We'd love to answer any questions you have as well. Feel free to contact Pastor Laura at danyasgift@gmail.com