About Our Helping Hands Program
SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE
Are you a seasoned parent NICU parent or baby born with special health care needs? Have you experienced a loss? Are you ready to help others who now walk in your shoes?
Did you know that 87% of parents report that peer support reduced depression, anxiety and stress? Imagine the difference we can make by simply sharing our stories, listening with empathy, and answering those “been there” questions that no one else can.
Become a resource to other families who are new to these challenges. You can be a source of hope and strength for another family.
PEER MENTOR PROGRAM
Join our growing community of Peer Mentors. Our Helping Hands training program will give you the tools you need to be confident to support families in their journey. You will then be matched with a parent whose story may be very similar to yours. This may be a 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 loss of their child.
Together, you’ll decide what level of support will be most helpful – from a few quick telephone calls or text messages to regular email correspondence. 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 make sure you have all the resources you need to ensure success.
Join Hand to Hold in your local NICU for Cookies, Coffee and Crafts, Sibling Sundaes, and Parent Holiday Events where former NICU parents visit the NICU to provide meals, introduce 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 NICU Appreciation Day celebrations. Get more information about our Ambassador Program by emailing support [at] handtohold [dot] org.
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
We are seeking local volunteers in the Austin, TX and Dallas, TX areas as well as national volunteers to support all of our families.
Austin and Dallas volunteers will have the opportunity to provide in person support to Hand to Hold staff members which might include thigns like assembling parent packets, staffing local events or other administrative tasks.
National volunteers will have the opportunity to support their local NICUs by participating in letter writing campaigns, crib card activities, and more!
NICU families thrive on words of encouragement and markers of milestones. Sharing an encouragement letter, Crib Card for the babies isolette or a Birthday Card for the new family experiencing a NICU journey can be what gets them through an extra tough day.
National volunteers also help Hand to Hold to identify opportunities to provide our resources to more families by spreading the word. Word of mouth is the best way to make sure that friends, colleagues and family members take advantage of the services we provide. You never know when our peer support may be needed!
Share Your Professional Talents
If you have a professional talent that you would , such as photography, graphic design, or marketing, We also welcome inquiries for positions on the board, charitable athletic events or third-party fundraising opportunities.
Many volunteers would like to provide assistance to families in the NICU. Most hospitals require that volunteers go through an extensive training program through the hospital’s volunteer program and commit to a specific number of volunteer hours in order to participate in their NICU rocker programs. And although Hand to Hold does not facilitate any of these types of programs, we are here to cheer you on! Our Pinterest board is full of ideas and printables for things you can do in your local hospital.
Questions about any of our volunteer programs? Feel free to contact us at volunteer [at] handtohold [dot] org.
CONSIDER BECOMING A DONOR
As a nonprofit organization, Hand to Hold provides its services to families free of charge. Please share our vision of empowering premature and NICU children reach their full potential by making a gift of any size. Special recognition is available through our Sustaining Circle of Love those interested in making a gift of a $1,000 or more for at least three years.