Monday, January 30, 2012

Announcing our 6th facility - Rainbow Child Development Center

Rainbow Child Development Center (source)

We're excited to announce the next facility that will be receiving a Bubbles for Isabelle book collection - The Rainbow Child Development Center in central Massachusetts.

Founded in 1972, Rainbow Child Development Center started out as a housing development in Worcester, MA for low-income families.  It is a licensed, non-profit childcare agency that provides educational, childcare, and family services in Central Massachusetts.  Rainbow is licensed to care for over 290 children between six weeks and 13 years of age. 

The Center has a long-standing commitment to quality education and childcare and works collaboratively with other area agencies, colleges and community service organizations to respond to the ever-changing and challenging issues facing today’s children.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Announcing our 5th Facility - Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children

Kapiolani NICU (source)

Announcing our Fifth Facility - Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children is a non-profit hospital providing the state's only pediatric emergency room and pediatric intensive care unit.

In 1890, concerned about the welfare of Hawai‘i's mothers, Queen Kapi‘olani held luau and bazaars to raise the $8,000 needed to open Kapi‘olani Maternity Home in. She endowed her legacy with “Kulia i ka nu‘u” or “Strive for the highest.”  Then in 1908, Albert and Emma Kauikeolani Wilcox donated $50,000 to start a children's hospital. The community, concerned that two of every seven infants in Hawai‘i did not live to see their first birthday, rallied to match the Wilcox's gift. A year later, Kauikeolani Children's Hospital opened.  Finally, the two hospitals joined in 1978 to become Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children.

Staying true to its mission, the non-profit hospital has played a vital role in the health of Hawai‘i's women, children and adolescents. It is staffed with highly skilled, compassionate physicians and nurses, dedicated to providing the finest care for Hawai‘i's families

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Books and blankets and babies

While we were in Missouri, just prior to Christmas, we took inventory on all of the books that have been sent to us and were overwhelmed by the amazing contributions.  We had extras of some books (and still need more of a few others), so we packaged up a bunch of books and wrapped a bunch more to deliver to one of the classrooms at the local Head Start early childhood development center.  We wanted the classroom to have a set of books and the children to get an early Christmas present. 

These children were Isabelle's age.  3 year olds...what an incredible age.  They were so full of enthusiasm and excitement.  Their cheers and laughter as Richard read one of Isabelle's favorite books to them not only kept our tears at bay, but brought smiles to our faces.  They were so happy to receive a gift and get to unwrap something...  Again, the magical age toddler-hood.  It was a heart warming experience to be able to give to these children.

Thank YOU, to all who have donated to the book drive, for allowing us to be able to give back. 

One of the other classes were for babies born to teen moms who attend school during the day.  We thought we'd surprise each of the mothers with a package of Aden & Anais blankets as well. 
Stay tuned, our fifth set of books is being delivered this month in Hawaii!

Fourth set of books delivered

The bench dedicated to our precious Isabelle in front of the University of Missouri Women's & Children's Hospital
Making the journey back to the hospital was...gutting.  Before even reaching the hospital
we were in pieces and to be honest, I wasn't even sure I could walk through the door.  I completely overestimated my strength and how very difficult it would be to walk through the doors where I had last walked through without my baby girl.  We fell back into the freefall of so many emotions, memories and reminders of the very, very worst days of our life.

Despite how difficult it was, we are still appreciative of the support and care we received there.  We are still grateful for the doctors, nurses and grieving counselors who gently led us through those horrible hours and days.  And we still felt it important to include the MU Women's and Children's Hospital as part of the Bubbles for Isabelle book drive. 

There were about 24 infants in the NICU at the time, so we brought extra Aden & Anais blankets to give to the families of those babies.