Mother’s Day is usually a time of celebration, when loved ones get together to honor the matriarch of the family. But for those new mothers whose babies are in the neonatal intensive care unit, the holiday can be overlaid with worry and fear.
This year, a group of local residents, hospital staff, volunteers from Kids Crew and even some moms whose babies were in the NICU, came together to spread a little joy to those new moms by attending a card-making workshop in April at Akron Children’s Beeghly campus.
“Our goal was to raise money to be used for the babies and families in the NICU,” said Dr. Elena Rossi, associate chair of Pediatrics, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.
Judy Lawton, an independent demonstrator for Stampin’ Up, created the event. She had hosted similar fundraisers in the past.
“Previously the monies were donated to the Touched by Nathan Foundation, another organization also affiliated with our NICU,” said Dr. Rossi. “This year, however, Judy wanted to switch to our NICU and we named it ‘Stampin’ for a Cause.'”
Nearly 60 people registered for the workshop, with participants using their creative skills to make 4 cards each. Judy led the workshop with assistance by 3 other women.
The workshop also included a breakfast buffet and auction, with items donated by attendees and the following local businesses: Bake Me Treats, Blossoms at the Village, Bread Chef, Belleria Pizza (Struthers), Gorant Candies, Italian Market Place, Luva Bella Winery and Mastropietro Winery. Judy donated all card-making items.
More than just a fundraiser, however, the event also provided a way to bring some cheer to mothers of our NICU patients at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, as well as the special care nurseries and pediatric inpatient units at our Beeghly campus and St. Joseph Warren Hospital.
“We wanted to do something for the mothers of hospitalized infants and children on Mother’s Day, so I suggested that each attendee donate a card to be distributed on Mother’s Day,” said Dr. Rossi. “In total, we had 50 cards to give to our mothers to help brighten their day during a difficult time.”
Registration fees and monies from the raffle were donated to the NICU, with the event raising $3,100.
“This is a lot of money to raise in 2 ½ hours,” said Dr. Rossi, who praised Judy and volunteer JoAnna Shepelevich as well as the others who helped make the event a success. “It was really special to create cards for the mothers of hospitalized infants and children on Mother’s Day – just something little we can do for these moms.”