Hand to Hold

May/June newsletter.
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Surviving the Seven Year Itch

Twin Brothers

In life, you often hear about the seven year itch. A time that requires one to reflect, refocus, dig deep and recommit. And that is exactly what Hand to Hold did in 2017, our seventh year of serving NICU and bereaved families in Central Texas, across the country and around the globe.

The year got off to an exciting start with our participation in Philanthropitch — think Shark Tank for nonprofits. Sponsored by The Notley Group in collaboration with Mission Capitol, Hand to Hold was awarded more than $30,000 in support of our mission, and we were invited to participate in Mission Capitol’s Mission Accelerator Program, a six month intensive leadership course led by a dedicated group of advisors. These advisors helped us measure our impact in the neonatal community, identify our unique value proposition, build an accelerated plan for strategic growth, and got us fired up to boldly seek the funding and resources we need to expand our resources and support program across Texas.

Also in early 2017, we moved into our new office in Austin, with various work spaces, a conference room, and our very own podcast recording studio.

In February 2017, we launched our first podcast series, NICU Now. The podcast has already reached more than 16,000 listeners in more 50 than countries, giving NICU and bereaved families crucial support, right from their device.

In late 2017 we brought our NICU Ambassador program to Dallas’s Baylor University Medical Center. It is our first bold step outside of our comfort zone, allowing us to scratch that itch to grow beyond Austin.

None of this would be possible without you, our generous and faithful supporters. You have seen us through the years and now are there to watch us spread our wings and soar.

With love,

Read more about our 2017 impact in our Annual Report.


Celebrate Mother's Day and Support NICU Moms

Mother’s Day is a very emotional day for NICU parents, parents of preemies and those who have suffered the loss of a baby. This Mother’s Day, we want to celebrate NICU moms in all stages of the journey. As a part of our second annual Mother’s Day campaign, you can give a gift to the NICU mom in your life, as well as to Hand to Hold.

For each gift of $50 or more from now through Mother’s Day, we will send the mom of your choice a necklace with a special Mother’s Day charm, along with a card with your heartfelt, personalized note inside. Your donation ensures more NICU moms have access to support systems to navigate the weeks, months and years ahead.   Give today.


Celebrate Kangaroo Care Awareness with a Kangaroo Challenge

Leading up to Kangaroo Care Awareness Day on May 15, Hand to Hold is helping facilitate kangaroo challenges at the hospitals we serve in Austin, TX. From May 1-15, NICU staff are encouraging parents to take part in kangaroo care as much as they can, educating parents not just about the benefits for the baby, but also about the benefits for the parent as well. Read more about the benefits of kangaroo care here.  

For more information about hosting a kangaroo challenge at your hospital, visit Sunnybrook Hospital's Kangaroo Challenge.


Shop Kendra Scott at Our Kendra Gives Back Party!

Treat your mom to something special from Kendra Scott this Mother's Day! We have two events coming up for you to take advantage of.

Join us in Austin on Friday, May 11, from 6-8 p.m., for a special evening of shopping and champagne at Kendra Scott's Domain location, located at 11506 Century Oaks, Suite 108. 20% of all proceeds will be donated to Hand to Hold. RSVP for the Austin event here!

There's more! Kendra Scott is also offering a special donation for NICU moms! For every $150 purchase made at the Domain location on Friday, May 11, Kendra Scott will graciously donate a piece of jewelry to a NICU mom for Mother's Day.

Can't make the Austin event? Email Zoe Roush to request an order form.

For our Dallas friends, mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 23, from 6-8 p.m. We've joined with Kendra Scott at the Preston Center Plaza, 8383 Preston Center Plaza Dr, Suite 160, to host another exciting fundraising event. 20% of all proceeds from this event will also be donated to Hand to Hold. Enjoy champagne and sweets while you check out the amazing designs of Kendra Scott!

If you are unable to attend the Dallas event but still want to support Hand to Hold, please call the Preston Center Plaza Kendra Scott store at (469) 804-8538 to place a phone order, and be sure to mention Hand to Hold! RSVP for the Dallas event here!.  


Heather Nichols hosts Sip & Shop

2018 Baby Shower Luncheon Co-chair, Heather Nichols, recently hosted a Sip & Shop at her home in Austin, TX. Over 60 ladies stopped by this event hosted by Heather and her Baby Shower Co-chair, Beth Cohen. The event was a lovely afternoon of socializing while shopping from three specialty vendors. A portion of the proceeds from this event was donated to Hand to Hold to provide ongoing support for NICU families.

Vendors at the event included Cassandra Collections, whose owner Cassandra King Polidori, was recently named a finalist in Austin's 40 Under 40 Awards, Alegreea, founded by Monica Peraza, featuring products from around the globe, and Kelly Wynne Handbags.  


Thank you to Baby Shower Luncheon Returning Sponsors!

We are pleased to welcome back the following returning sponsors for our 5th annual Baby Shower Luncheon:

Lana Macrum-Craig and Villa Del Lago

Our 5th annual Baby Shower Luncheon will be held on Friday, November 2, 2018, with Co-chairs Heather Nichols and Beth Cohen, featuring Honorary Chair Camila Alves McConaughey. Join Hand to Hold and members of the community at the beautiful JW Marriott in downtown Austin for an afternoon of celebration and reflection on the lives of fragile babies and their resilient families. Find out more about this fun and inspiring event.

Interested in sponsoring? View our sponsorship packages.




What Parents Are Saying


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From the Blog

Self-Care in the NICU, by Jessie Threlkeld. Self-care often gets overlooked when parents are in survival mode with their baby. Contributor Jessie Threlkeld shares her checklist of practical self-care tips that helped her through her NICU stay.

Navigating Claims and Insurance Companies, by Kathryn Whitaker. Preemie mom Kathryn Whitaker shares her best tips for staying organized and keeping your sanity while navigating the mountain of paperwork that often comes with a NICU stay and a medically-fragile child.

What to Expect on Discharge Day, by Kathy McClelland. Getting ready to be discharged and being prepared at home is all part of the NICU journey. Here are some things you can expect, or inquire about, as you prepare for discharge day.  



About Hand to Hold

Hand to Hold helps families before, during, and after NICU stays and infant loss by providing powerful resources for the whole family, and most importantly, one-on-one mentoring from someone who has been there. Read more.



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Email: info@handtohold.org
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