With all the Christmas rush of gifts, parties, dinners and last minute shopping, it is a wonder that we can all remain sane trying to get everything organized. But for some people, none of this excitement will be fulfilled because they are dealing with something that has taken a much larger priority. Parents that have babies born premature in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) don’t get an opportunity to celebrate Christmas as you or I would because their baby is struggling to survive in the NICU.
Imagine that the greatest joy of celebrating your baby’s first Christmas and you have to celebrate it in the NICU. This is why the Christmas Bear delivery to NICU’s in Central Florida started. The Gift of Life delivers Christmas bears that are knitted by the senior citizens of The Good Samaritan Village every year so that we can bring a little cheer to each and every parent and let them know that someone is thinking about them as their baby is recuperating. The Gift of Life also provided knitted Santa hats for the babies to wear on Christmas Day.
Getting the bears and hats ready:
This year The Gift of Life was able to donate over 150 bears to the NICU at Florida Hospital, a few parents at Winnie Palmer, parents staying at Ronald McDonald House with babies in the Winnie Palmer NICU, and to a few NICU parents in the state of Washington, Virginia, New Jersey, California, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio. We were also able to donate this year over 600 Care packages to families in the NICU’s and those staying at Ronald McDonald Houses and individual families asking for support across the country. We can only do this through the donations of our sponsors and donations that come in to help with the packages and postage to send out the care packages. We were also able to donate this year over 600 Care packages to families in the NICU’s and those staying at Ronald McDonald Houses and individual families asking for support across the country.
Words from a preemie parent:
My son Emerson is a current patient at Florida hospital in the NICU. We received your teddy bear and it brightened our day.
Thank you so much for your kindness during this difficult time.
Delivering Bears and Hats to the Florida Hospital NICU
Delivering Hats and Bears to Parents at Winnie Palmer NICU
Delivering Hats and Bears to Ronald McDonald House for parents of preemies who are at Winnie Palmer NICU.
Watch as we deliver to Florida Hospital NICU the Love Bears this year. Celebrity singer Jody McBrayer, dedicated this special song to our families when he sang at our Charity Christmas gala this past year.
A big thank you to our volunteers Keitra Robinson, Jackie Pettit, Marcus Moore and Child Life Specialist Summer Bernath and our digital storyteller Bruce Reynolds.
A big thank you to Jody McBrayer for coming t our annual Gift of Life Charity Gala and dedcating this song to the babies.
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