Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Giving Back

Hi Friends and Family

As many of you know, our little family has much to be blessed and thankful for this year. To celebrate our appreciation we would like to give back to two organizations that have been crucial in Olivia’s health and treatment as well as alleviating stress off of Brian and I while we stayed at her bedside post-op Norwood & Glenn (Olivia’s first 2 surgeries). Those two organizations are the Heart Institute for Children and the Ronald McDonald House at Hope.

Many of you have asked along the way what you can do for us and here’s your opportunity. While she was hospitalized immediately post-op from the Norwood, Olivia spent something like eighteen days in the Pediatric Surgical Heart Unit at Hope Hospital. That PSHU as it’s called within the hospital was integral in helping her recover from her first surgery at just four days old. I had the misconception previously that there wasn’t a whole lot we could do for her while she was there hooked up to all the monitors, but they showed us differently. They can be dressed (so long as the right clothes are provided), wear hats, socks, fabulous headbands and bows for the girls, interact with mobiles clamped to their cribs, snuggle with stuffed animals and listen to lullabies played on the in room TV/DVD combo.

Our goal is to buy the following for the PSHU:

· 10 Boppy Pillows complete with a cover for each – it’s funny to walk into these rooms and see your little baby sort of propped up in a Boppy, not to mention therapeutic for the babies to get off of laying flat on their backs

· 10 Crib Mounting Battery Operated Mobiles for interactive stimulation -We need the high end battery operated kind because sadly the wind-up ones only last a couple of minutes and there’s not always someone around to sit there and crank them up for the little ones

· Receiving blankets, socks, front snap t-shirts in 0-3 & 3-6 mo boy/girl, hats, and hair accessories for baby girls

The Heart Institute for Children also includes the heart clinic that we visited frequently for Olivia’s checkups and Echo’s. They have a child-friendly waiting room complete with an entire library of children’s books as well as gifts that they keep stashed away to give out to patients as they’re visiting to give comfort and distract them through long echo’s (sometimes upwards of an hour depending on how calm the little one is)

We’d like to give the Heart Clinic:

· Children’s books – any and all age ranges

· Stuffed animals/toys

Last but not least-The Ronald McDonald House – they provided us with a room that was equivalent to a very nice hotel room and gave us home cooked meals each and every day. If we ran out of a toiletry they had a whole closet stockpiled with whatever we could think of just in case. There are families that have lived there on end for months and without such a place would be lost. We understand how important it is to be just a few hundred feet away from your baby because you never know when you’ll need to get back to them at a moment’s notice.

The Ronald McDonald House wish list:

· Queen sized white sheet sets

· White towels & wash clothes

· Pots & Pans

· Kitchen Utensils

· Toys (for their family playroom)

Any additional funds that may be leftover from buying gifts for the PSHU will go towards buying gifts for families staying at the Ronald McDonald house over the holidays. Many of these people are struggling to financially make ends meet with the downturned economy, usually the loss of one parent’s job to be near their child and then the additional medical expenses. Please do know that we have ear marked funds that were sent to us before and after Olivia’s arrival to donate them towards the causes above. Any and all contributions are so greatly appreciated, we simply ask that if you would like to participate that you please contact us prior to November 24th 2010 so that we have enough time to shop for everything and distribute prior to Christmas 2010. We realize and understand that many of you may be struggling as well so please do not feel obligated to participate if you will be stretched beyond your means.

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts,

Brian, Lisa and Olivia


  1. What a wonderful way of giving back. I am collecting stuff from work (it is volunteer days at work) for the Ronald McDonald House here. A lot of people want to give and it is so nice to see...especially when the economy has hurt so many people (especially in Ohio).

  2. Hi Lisa. I'd love to help out. I'm always donating stuff that my daughter doesn't need or use and I'd love to give anything I can to you guys to help you give back to your charities. I will check to see what I have because I've already donated a lot of stuff to Good Will, but let me know how to get the stuff over to you and I'll let you know what I have. You can e-mail me at work at I'll talk to you soon.