Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Got Any Gently Used or New Children's Books Lying Around? Send Them to Graham's Foundation!

Hi, my lovelies! I'm skipping Wordless Wednesday this week to share a press release from an organization I work with called Graham's Foundation. They do something pretty awesome - reaching out to parents whose super tiny babies are struggling to survive and/or destined to be in the NICU for a long, long time. The Babby was born early, true, but nowhere near as early as the babies whose parents Graham's Foundation supports. Right now, Graham's Foundation is holding an ongoing book drive so moms and dads who may not be able to hold their infants can bond through reading!
reading to preemies

Books for Baby Bonding Drive Empowers NICU Parents
Grahams's Foundation's Book Collection Program Facilitates Infant-Parent Bonding in the NICU Through Reading

Graham’s Foundation, a non-profit organization offering practical and emotional support to the parents of infants born before 29 weeks gestation, recently announced its forthcoming Baby Bonding Book Drive. The organization is collecting new and gently used children's books for distribution to mothers and fathers whose severely premature newborns are facing months in neo-natal intensive care units.

"It is an incredible challenge for parents to bond with a micro-preemie baby that is too delicate to be fed or even held, and is covered in wires from head to toe," said Nick Hall, who founded Graham's Foundation with his wife Jennifer after they experienced the birth of twins at just 25 weeks before facing the trials of the NICU and the loss of one child. "The experience of having a very early newborn in the NICU is unlike anything a parent can prepare for, so moms and dads are often unsure how they can be there for their babies." 

An innovative study led by a neonatal nurse at Montreal Children's Hospital found that reading to premature infants helped parents to feel close to their babies, easing the stress of disrupted parent-infant bonding. Nearly 70% of the 120 families who participated by reading to their NICU infants reported feeling more in control of their situation and closer to their newborns.

"I wasn’t aware of the research study when my children were born, but I wanted so much to bond with Reece and Graham," added Nick. "I read to them every day while they were in the NICU and we went through so many titles, but my favorite was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein."

The Baby Bonding Book Drive will launch at Graham's Foundation's third annual golf outing, Golfing For Graham's Foundation, on Sunday, July 10th, 2011 at Stone Ridge Golf Club. This year, in addition to a round of golf in a scramble format, gifts and prizes, great food, and a silent auction, attendees will have a chance to meet Petra Cole.

Cole started life 12 weeks early, and weighed only 1 pound 9 ounces at birth. She endured many of the medical and developmental struggles that micro-preemies face, but went on to play golf at and graduate from San Diego State University before moving on to graduate school. Golf is one of Cole's passions – she started playing at 2 years old – and she has landed 8 holes in one. Someday, she hopes to compete in the LPGA tour. 

"I am excited and honored to be a part of this fundraiser," said Ms. Cole. "Graham's Foundation has helped numerous families with micro-preemies with its care packages. It really is truly remarkable what Nick and Jenn have done with limited resources, and I am thrilled to help this foundation grow now and in the future. I hope my story will be an inspiration for all the preemies who dream as large as I do."

Those interested in participating in the Baby Bonding Book Drive can mail one or more new or gently used books to Graham’s Foundation, 3142 Riverwood Court, Perrysburg, OH 43551. All titles received as part of the Baby Bonding Book Drive will be immediately included in upcoming Graham's Foundation care package shipments along with the name of each book's donor.

About Graham's Foundation
Graham’s Foundation assembles and sends care packages designed to meet the physical and emotional needs of parents of micro-preemies by providing goods and services that are both practical and inspirational. The charitable organization was founded in 2009 by Nick and Jennifer Hall, who experienced the rollercoaster ride of being parents in the neo-natal intensive care unit, losing their son Graham after 45 days, and their daughter Reece’s four-month NICU stay. For more information, visit http://www.GrahamsFoundation.org.

2 comments:

  1. You must have been reading my mind because I am planning on asking Marlie's birthday guests to bring a new/gently loved book to donate and I was looking for a place to give them. Thanks!

    p.s. I admire your unwavering dedication to this foundation :-)

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