Thanks for Making For the Love of Babies So Successful

June 20, 2013

For the Love of Babies Thank YouIt is with deep gratitude that we thank all those who made the 2013 For the Love of Babies fundraising and awareness campaign such a huge success. We would especially like to thank the For the Love of Babies campaign co-chairs, Melinda Garvey and Meredith Bagan. Their leadership and passion ensured we maintained momentum throughout the 100-day campaign!

Kelli Kelley and Dr. Sue Hall

Kelli Kelley and Dr. Sue Hall

We also extend our thanks to Dr. Sue Hall, Kansas City neonatologist and author of For the Love of Babies, which inspired this campaign’s theme. Over the course of this campaign, she and I presented at a conference for neonatal nurse practitioners about strategies for effectively communicating with NICU families.

We truly appreciate our amazing corporate sponsors, including Mead Johnson Nutrition, St. David’s Healthcare, GE Healthcare, Neotech and the Wellness Network who made leadership gifts to kickoff the campaign.

Because of the generosity and support of corporations, individuals and families, 81 hospitals across the country will receive Hand to Hold’s new NICU Resource Library.  The library was designed to complement and extend NICU parent education and support programs within hospitals to ensure parents become confident caregivers and advocates for their medically fragile child.

“The emotional, physical, psychological and financial stress associated with a NICU stay can be overwhelming to new parents,” said Scott Whitaker, Hand to Hold Board President.  “It is our hope that the Hand to Hold NICU Resource Library will provide parents the tools and resources they need to lessen the impact of a NICU stay and prepare them to meet their baby’s needs after leaving the hospital.”

We also thank the many individuals and families who supported the campaign.  Congratulations to all of our online fundraising teams who reached their personal fundraising goals and will be gifting the library to their NICU in honor of their children.  Of the family teams, the first five who signed up and made a donation received $25 gift cards to It’s a Preemie Thing, including Anay B., Daneryl C., Melissa D., Deborah D. and Heather D. Of those raising $500 or more, Melissa D. was the lucky winner of the iPad drawing. And, we had a number of families reach their fundraising goal of $1,000 including: Tanya C, Deborah D, Melissa D, Julie H, Kristen P and Tige W. We are so proud of you all!

For the Love of Babies Kickoff

Meredith Bagan, Kelli Kelley and Melinda Garvey

From radio interviews and magazine features to keynote speeches and luncheons, Hand to Hold’s board and staff worked tirelessly throughout the campaign to raise awareness of the critical need for support following the birth of a preterm baby, a baby born with a special health care need or the loss of a baby.  We were honored to benefit from many local events that connected us to new supporters, including the For the Love of Babies Kickoff Party hosted by Meredith Bagan and Melinda Garvey. In addition, Hand to Hold was a beneficiary of I Live Here, I Give Here’s first Amplify Austin campaign held March 4-5, AW Media’s quarterly launch party on March 5, a Survivor Watch party April 17 with special guests Reynold Toepfer and his teammates Malcolm Freberg & Eddie Fox, the ATX Man Golf Classic on April 29, and the Kendra Scott Gives Back event held April 30.

For the Love of Babies Celebration

Allie Alter, Krystle Alvarado, Dr. David Berry and Kelli Kelley

The For the Love of Babies campaign culminated in a beautiful local celebration at Mercury Hall in Austin, Texas on May 16, 2013.  Co-chairs Krystle Alvarado and Allie Alter planned and executed a beautiful evening at which Hand to Hold awarded the first For the Love of Babies Award to Dr. David Berry of Austin Perinatal Associates.  The event was emceed by the gregarious Matthew Dowd, and 2012 Preemie Power Photo and Essay Contest winner, Addie Droegemueller, was on hand to welcome guests and recognize donors. See the longer video with highlights from the event. The following is the impactful video shown at the event.

Hand to Hold will continue to work toward its goal to gift the NICU Resource Library to 100 hospitals by the end of 2013.  To learn how your support can ensure NICU parents have a Hand to Hold during and after a NICU stay, please contact me kelli [at]