Give Them Tomorrow | March of Dimes October 25, 2017 | Good Morning, friends! A bit of a different post today, but one that’s so special. After having relatively easy pregnancies, labors and deliveries with my girls I felt like I became hyper aware of those around me who weren’t so lucky. My heart ached for so many friends, acquaintances and strangers who were either having trouble getting pregnant or gave birth to premature babies who required a NICU stay. I cannot imagine leaving your newborn baby in a hospital as you go home to try and continue life. Something was tugging on my heartstrings so much so that I even reached out to a local Facebook group of Charlotte entrepreneurs and asked for suggestions as to how I could get involved with a pregnancy or baby based charity. I kid you not, only 2 days later, I got an email from March of Dimes asking if I would share this post with you. That Big Guy upstairs surely knows what he’s doing 😉 I’ve been familiar with March of Dimes all of my life, but had never really taken a deep dive into how they serve families until recently. The United States ranks close to the bottom of developed nations with a 9.6% pre-mature birth rate, which is absolutely terrifying that out of the nearly 11,000 babies born each day, close to 1,000 of them are pre-mature. March of Dimes’ “Give Them Tomorrow” campaign is a rally to bring families and corporate partners around the cause of giving every baby a healthy start and a bright future through research, education, pre-natal care, NICU support and overall awareness. My favorite program that March of Dimes has is the NICU Family Support program where they step in for families with premature or very sick babies and provide them with relevant information, tools needed and expert advice to help navigate this rough time. This year they will have helped more than 75,000 families with premature or sick babies through the NICU Family Support program! How can you help? Quite a few ways! Here’s how you can make a difference today: Signs up for the advocacy network HERE. Just a gift of your email address can make a difference. This will keep you up to date on all March of Dimes initiatives and you can join them when and if the time is right. It took me less than 10 seconds to sign up. Watch and share this video and spread the word about how March of Dimes is standing for all babies and giving out over 6,300 gift packages to new moms around the country Engage with their corporate partners and their efforts to support the cause! One of their corporate partners just so happens to also be one of my favorite brands, so I’m going to show you a cute gift idea to bring over to a mom of a preemie baby! Mud Pie gifts has partnered with March of Dimes to stand together in their beliefs that every baby deserves a healthy start and they are donating a dime for each time someone buys a baby soft headband or socks and donating $5 when someone buys the “love” piggy bank! Here’s how to use some of those products that give back to craft a thoughtful (and easy) gift basket to bring over to a preemie mom (or really any new mom)! Here’s what I selected to put in the basket. It’s so important to keep preemies warm, so I chose lots of beautiful and cozy pieces that could work within the NICU and also when they come home. Here’s a list of the specifics: Crown Hat / Hello World Gown / Swaddle Set / Lactation Bars / “Love” Piggy Bank (on SALE, too!) / Socks *Note: The mamas who want to breastfeed NICU babies often have a hard time keeping their supply up since most aren’t actually able to nurse right away. They usually have to pump diligently and store to the milk until the baby is mature enough to latch. I can’t imagine how hard this must be. I included these lactation bars in my gift basket because they are amazing and would make the perfect treat for a NICU mama trying to pump. Here’s what I used to put the gift basket together: Wooden Crate from Michaels / Crinkle fill / Cellophane bag / Tulle Ribbon / Faux Peonies to top it off Other items that you might want to include: -Starbucks gift card -Target gift card -Small snacks that they can keep at the hospital like protein bars or trail mix -Comfy slippers or a robe to pamper mom Thank you so much for joining me today for this special post! I hope that you will consider getting involved, if not only just by donating your email address 🙂 You guys are amazing, thank you for your support!