Hand to Hold

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In a Crisis, Communities Save Us
by Kelli Kelley, founder

It’s no secret that our communities are hurting, given the recent national tragedies that have befallen us. Our hearts go out to those affected by these terrible events. I’m reminded of words from the lovable Mister Rogers, a quote that always seems to circulate on social media in times of crisis: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

And that’s exactly what we’ve seen in Southeast Texas after Hurricane Harvey, in Florida and the U.S territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma, and most recently, in Las Vegas, after the devastating violence that occurred last week. Time and time again, communities continue to come together to support one another during a time of great hardship and heartbreak.

Once the storms have passed and the sun rises after a traumatic event, people are still in need of compassion and emotional support. It is imperative that we, their communities, surround them with love and empathy and sit with them, physically and emotionally, during their time of healing.

kristin schellAuthor Kristin Schell has made it her mission to foster community across the country. As founder of the Turquoise Table and Front Yard People movement, Kristin encourages people to open their lives and homes to others. We at Hand to Hold could not envision a more appropriate special guest for our 4th Annual Baby Shower Luncheon, as Kristin will surely have some sage words to share with us on the importance of community in good times and bad.

In order for our communities to heal, we must know our neighbors. Here at Hand to Hold, we are here for parents not just for today, not just for tomorrow, but for the long term. When the rest of the world seems to have resumed, we will continue to sit by your side.

With love, 


Cason family


Mission Accelerator Graduation

mission accelerator graduationHand to Hold is so proud to have been selected to participate in Mission Capital’s  2017 Mission Accelerator program. Over the past five months, we were privileged to work with a dedicated group of consultants with expertise in healthcare and non-profit management, finance and venture capital to build our plan for accelerated growth. 


Run/Walk for Team Hand to Hold!

team hand to holdWe are proud to be one of Austin Gives Miles' select charities once again! Last year our runners and supporters raised over $20,000. Our goal this year is $25,000, and we need your help! Get your friends and family together to walk or run in one of three races: the Paramount 5K, Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon, on February 18, 2018. Registration is easy! Just visit the registration page here to sign up, then on the second page, select Hand to Hold as your charity. Your crowdrise fundraising page will automatically be created for you. If you have any questions about registration, fundraising, or Team Hand to Hold please contact Zoe Roush at zoe@handtohold.org.

More Good Stuff

Hurricane Harvey: Mom Recalls Putting Baby in Helicopter to Austin

We were honored to have the opportunity to provide direct support to Hurricane Harvey evacuees, including Heather Luper of Kingwood, whose 1-week old son, Wyatt, was transferred to St. David's Medical Center. Read all about Heather's emotional experience in the Austin-American Statesman.

RSV 101: What Every NICU Parent Needs to Know

baby with nebulizer rsvOctober marks the start of RSV season in many regions of the United States. In this comprehensive article, we break down what NICU parents need to know about this dangerous disease: who is most at risk, what the symptoms are, and how you can protect your baby.

The NICU World

twinsWhen guest blogger Shree Venkatesh delivered her twins at just 29 weeks, she was thrust into the NICU world, where her twins endured many challenges in their first three months of life. 


Living with Grief: My Story of Infant Loss

infant lossOctober 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rembrance Day. Stacey Skrysak writes beautifully about her journey through grief after the devastating loss of two of her triplets, how grief changes over time, and how it has changed her.

Connect With Us

Like us on Facebook!Follow us on Twitter!Watch us on YouTubePin us on PinterestNICU Family Voices 28nicu family forum 28 

Welcome New Board Member, Jennifer Zion 

jennifer zionJennifer Zion, SPHR, is the Human Resources Manager for Freebirds World Burrito.

Jennifer is also a fellow NICU parent. Her son, Noah, was born at 35 weeks and had to be transferred from the birthing center to the NICU of a nearby hospital, for what Jennifer describes as seven of the longest days of her life. It wasn't until she met Kelli years later and heard her story and stories of others, that she realized so many other parents had been in similar situations and far more.

On joining our Board of Directors, Jennifer says, "I am honored to be part of Hand to Hold with such an amazing purpose of supporting families through some of their most trying times." We look forward to working with Jennifer as we expand Hand to Hold's mission!

#GivingTuesday Campaign: Honor NICU Heroes

NICU nurseDo you have a special NICU hero in your life? Someone whose strength and kindness helped you through your journey? Show your appreciation through our #MyNICUHero campaign on November 28th during Giving Tuesday. Watch for our emails, and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for the latest campaign updates.

We had a blast at Fashion Gives Back!

Fashion Gives Back 17Hand to Hold was honored to be the beneficiary of the 3rd annual Fashion Gives Back in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hosted by local business Mimosa Boutique, the event included a runway show, live music, and an outpouring of support for NICU families from over 1,000 attendees. Thank you to Lauren and Scott Monroe, the team at Mimosa Boutique and the entire community of Lake Charles for supporting Hand to Hold. For more information about Mimosa Boutique or to see photos from the event visit them on Facebook. Pictured above: Mimosa Boutique owner Lauren Monroe and Hand to Hold Development Director Jennifer Hayhurst.

Dates to Remember 

October 15: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day
October 20: 4th Annual Baby Shower Luncheon
November: Prematurity Awareness Month
November 17: World Prematurity Day
November 23: Thanksgiving (US)
November 28: Giving Tuesday 

Volunteer Opportunities

Kelli visits VictoriaVolunteer your time to write supportive notes to be given to families in the NICU now and to say thanks to NICU staff during special recognition months. Or virtually correspond with a family who has had an experience similar to yours by becoming a Helping Hand peer mentor. Whether you have a little or a lot of time, we have a spot for you to make a difference today. Get started.

Connect to Support on Your Schedule

Julie Cruz and hubbieA baby's NICU stay or loss can be a lonely and isolating experience. Let our experienced Family Support Navigators help you connect to information, resources and support to help make the journey easier for you. Send us a request to begin

Past Issues

Read past eNewsletters.

   About Hand to Hold
Hand to Hold logoHand to Hold is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special healthcare needs and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications. 

Hand to Hold - www.handtohold.org - 855-H2H-NICU

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