About Our Helping Hands Program
SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE
Are you a seasoned parent of a preemie 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, 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 NICU Appreciation Day celebrations. Get more information about our Ambassador Program by emailing support [at] handtohold [dot] org.
NICU NOTES PROGRAM
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. Great for volunteers looking to help from home.
PARENT PANEL PROGRAM
Trained Helping Hand volunteers serve on parent panels to help 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.
Hand to Hold is often asked to provide parents to speak to healthcare professionals about the NICU journey. Speaking about your experience can be a wonderful way to give back and reach others with your story.
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. Participate in campaigns like For the Love of Babies and Preemie Power to raise awareness and critical funds to support families during their NICU journey and beyond. 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 and charitable athletic events or third-party fundraising opportunities.
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.
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.