September is Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month. 10-15% of all infants will spend time in the NICU this year and yet a disparity still exists in support programs available for families of NICU patients across the country.
How can you help? Consider giving back to your local hospital, medical care home or housing facility. There are many ways in which you can do this. The following are just some tips for getting started!
2. Ways you can give back
Before contacting your hospital facility, create a clear plan of action and timeline for what you would like to accomplish within your community. The following are some great ways you could provide for the needs of your hospital.
2. Contacting your local hospital
After you have a proposal, contact your hospital's child life department, volunteer services, Chaplin, or unit director and let them know you are interested in donating. You can almost always locate their telephone numbers on the website. And if that doesn't work - try calling the hospital and ask a service rep. This is often the most difficult part in the process because it may take some time for the hospital to connect you with the right personnel and even more time if they have to approve your efforts. Policies vary greatly from facility to facility. Some may have an open donation policy and some have very specific guidelines on what can be donated or services that may be provided.
3. Meeting your goals
So you've decided how you would like to give back to your local ICU but how do you make it happen? Will you need to raise funds? Host a volunteer day? Spread the word?
Above all, remember that the service you are providing, big or small, is making a difference. Best of luck in all of your efforts.