Share Your Experience
BECOME A HELPING HAND – MENTOR A FELLOW PARENT
Are you a seasoned parent of a preemie or baby born with special health care needs? Are you ready to help others who now walk in your shoes? If so, we welcome you with open arms.
Join our growing list of Helping Hands. Become a resource to other parents who are new to these challenges. By doing this you can be a source of hope and strength for another family.
After attending a one time training session or completing our online curriculum (ongoing dates to choose from), you will be matched with a parent whose journey may be very similar to yours. This may be pregnant mom experiencing complications, parents of a baby or multiples born early, the family of a child born with special health care needs, or a family who has experienced the death of their child.
Together, you’ll decide what level of support will be most helpful – from a few quick telephone calls to regular email correspondence and in-person visits. The time commitment depends on you and the new parent’s needs. The Hand to Hold staff will follow-up with you both at regular intervals, be available to support you and to make you have all the resources you need to ensure success.
Other Direct Service Roles
Becoming a Helping Hand isn’t the only way you can help other families. Hand to Hold is looking for volunteers who will help staff the Ronald McDonald House Family Rooms located inside St. David’s North Austin Medical Center/St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas and at the brand new Family Room at St. David’s Medical Center. These family rooms provide respite to families with a child in the NICU and contain a kitchenette, computers with Internet access, comfy couches, and snacks. Read more and sign up.
VISIT FAMILIES IN THE NICU
Hand to Hold hosts regular NICU events in local hospitals. You might want to join us for Cookies and Milk, Pizza & Bingo nights or NICU support groups where former NICU parents pay a short visit to local area NICUs to share meals, explain Hand to Hold’s resources, lend an ear and share the unique fellowship of parents who have experienced similar journeys. Or join us for annual events like our Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Nurse Appreciation Days celebrations.
DELIVER RESOURCE MATERIALS
Opportunities occur throughout the year for parents to help us equip local Central Texas NICUs, therapy practices, and specialist’s waiting rooms with helpful resources, information and sibling color books to share more resources to families and make their stay easier.
PARTICIPATE IN A PARENT PANEL AND EDUCATE MEDICAL PROVIDERS
Trained peer mentor volunteers have served on parent panels to help better educate health professionals about how to better care for families who have had a pregnancy with complications, a baby or multiples born early, one or more babies with special health care needs or families experiencing loss.
SPECIAL NOTE: Hand to Hold also has convened a Bereavement Task Force for parents who have experienced a loss and who wish to be involved in shaping the development of services and programs specifically for these families. We are also actively looking for families who have had a NICU stay unrelated to prematurity to make sure that we are meeting the needs of all families.
Share Your Professional Talents
There are many ways you can help Hand to Hold expand its outreach to families and raise awareness of our mission. Hand to Hold accepts internship candidates each semester and marketing volunteers for promotional and fundraising activities. We also welcome inquiries for positions on the board, advisory council or Champions for Families. Those interested in charitable athletic events or third-party fundraising opportunities, please contact us.
Tell Your Story
Share a testimonial about your experience with premature birth, in the NICU or with loss. Contribute to our PreemieBabies 101 blog. We are eager to receive family stories with before and after pictures, monthly features for the Helping Hand Highlights page and testimonials for our Hear from Families page. Consider entering your child in our annual Preemie Power Photo/Essay Contest which occurs each November to coincide with Prematurity Awareness Month. Contact us to learn more.
Tell Others about our Community
Spread the word to friends, colleagues and family members because you never know when our peer support may be needed. Throw your creative tendencies into high gear! We even have a few ideas to get you started.
Connect Through the Volunteer List
If you are not already on Hand to Hold’s list, consider joining our Volunteer list to receive more information, to request a specific volunteer position and to receive regular updates and volunteer needs. Once you join the volunteer list, we will be in contact shortly.
As a nonprofit organization, Hand to Hold provides its services to families free of charge. Please share our vision of empowering premature children reach their full potential by making a gift of any size. Lifetime recognition is available though our Founder’s Circle for a limited time.
Visit Hand to Hold’s Pinterest board – Ways You Can Help