This week our blog features a generous and kind Newborn Care Specialist who is one of our students: Jenny Alexander-Davis
It all started with a Moses basket.
My daughter-in-law Loie is also a Newborn Care Specialist. She and I tag-team together when we land the bigger jobs and this new job was a big one: she was hired to help a family that was expecting twins. While working with twin families is pretty easy for an experienced Newborn Care Specialist most of the time, the dad’s job as a professional athlete and the outside expectations because of that made this job a lot more demanding. To the outside world, it appears that when the game is done for the week or the season has ended, that the family is on vacation the whole time. But reality is much different. To any of you that have worked with a family in the professional sports world, you know that this is not true at all. The expectations and responsibilities don’t end, they just take on a different form and there are many outside obligations–many of them enjoyable, but work continues regardless.
And this is what happened with this family. While we were working for them, many times I saw the Mom making arrangements for the children at our Texas Children’s Hospital at the Katy campus, especially over the holidays. She would call and ask for a bed count and then put baskets of goodies together so each patient had a holiday treat. In the Spring, she would put together their gala fundraiser for the hospital and would gather silent auction donations. I asked her if I could put together a Moses basket full of everything a family would need if we came to work in their home. Our first basket sold for $1,200.00! So naturally, I had to do it again for two more years! In total, Loie and I made 7 baskets in the 3 year we worked for them and those baskets raised over $7,000.00 for the Gre8 Hope Foundation.
When he was traded to another team, I realized that the children at the hospital would not get any Christmas presents that year because this generous mom was gone, and that wasn’t ok with me. I had just joined a couple of Facebook sites where you can buy and sell things, so I started buying any new toy that I thought a child in a hospital bed would want to play with. The first year, after we donated them, I posted a picture of my toys on the site to share about it, and Moms commented back saying next year they wanted to help. So throughout the year, I bought toys and I would gently remind the site members that if their children received toys that they were not interested in, I would buy them or they could donate to my Texas Children’s Hospital toy drive. I start collecting toys for the next year as soon as I drop off this years’ donation. Every year, the donations have come in and it has gotten bigger and bigger. This year is no exception. I now have to rent a U-Haul truck to deliver all the toys to the hospital. And children in the hospital are made a little happier during a time when it can be especially difficult. In addition, the visibility this has given me in my Facebook community allows me to share with these moms; they know me and what I do for a living. Because of this, I have been able to help many of them with their new babies and many times they have toys waiting for me when I show up to help them! They are my village and I cherish every night I’m with them and the generosity that they show to others.
Here’s to all the wonderful people who give of their time and resources to make the holiday season just a little brighter for everyone!