Each year about 10 to 15 percent of babies born in the United States are treated in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The reasons for treatment include premature birth, breathing problems, infections, and birth defects. Some babies spend months in the hospital, while parents and families stand a difficult, heart-wrenching vigil. Today’s organization is trying to make a difference for those families.
Ella’s Halo is a non-profit organization that was developed to help improve the quality of extended stays in Twin Cities NICUs. Their mission is carried out by providing a variety of items to NICUs, babies, and their families to help impart a better sense of home while in the hospital. Ella’s Halo accomplishes this through fundraising efforts, community events and educating the public about life in the NICU.
Ella’s Halo was created in memory of Ella Jo Krumwiede, who was born premature in March 2009 and lived in the NICU at a Minneapolis hospital for 83 days, before she passed away. Her parents, Ryan and Taryn Krumwiede, saw a need to make the hospital unit more like home during their stay with their daughter.
Ella’s Halo provides blankets for hospital beds, books and music for babies, and more. They also provide comfort for families, as well: toys, books and movies for brothers and sisters, comfortable chairs for parents, and any other items the unit feels necessary. These are often small things, but they can make a hospital stay so much more comfortable for everyone.
They have already raised over $15,000 to help families and babies in the NICU. Recently the organization started providing care packages to each family will get a care package of comfort items when their baby is admitted into the NICU at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul’s NICU courtesy of Ella’s Halo.
How can you help?
- Make a monetary donation to Ella’s Halo on their website.
- Make an in kind donation of blankets, books, toys or movies.
- For those in the Twin Cities metro area, attend one of the organization’s annual events including Bowling for Babies in May and the Strides for NICUs-5k and Family Walk each fall. Watch the organization’s blog for details of upcoming events to be posted. The Bowling event’s date has been set for May 14.
- You can also support the organization’s events by serving as a sponsor or donating prizes. You can contact them at e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to help.
- Shop at the Border’s Book Store in Minnetonka February 19-20, 2011 and a percentage of the sales will go to the Ella’s Halo organization.