Friday, May 18, 2012

Reaching the Hearts Of More Than Moms Of Critically Ill Children

Our Mother's Day Project has come to a close, but the impact of the project will be long lasting. For those of you not familiar with this, it was our first attempt to provide some real TLC to the moms of a critically ill, hospitalized child;  for the moms and children who cannot celebrate Mother's Day as most of us do; honoring mom on "her" day.  Moms always put everyone else before them.  TLC wanted to do something to comfort these moms by giving them a special inspirational necklace on Mother's Day.  Our goal, as always, was simple, to let them know they are thought of and to provide a bit of comfort!  TLC was able to exceed our original goal of providing 145 moms (We reached well over 250 moms).  What we've learned in this week just past Mother's Day is that the results of the project are far reaching, well beyond what we ever imagined.  Our small gesture has provided moms and children with a warm memory of this Mother's Day. We've already had requests from the hospitals to do this again next year.... Will we? Without a doubt, and we'll touch the hearts of many more! 

We are always amazed at how willing people are at wanting to help, whether it is a monetary donation or time.   TLC worked closely with an amazing woman who handcrafted every single one of these necklaces for us (check out her beautiful work at Ivie Ridge http://www.etsy.com/shop/IvieRidge).  All of our communication was via email as we are located in Baltimore and she in Texas. 

The Monday after Mother's Day TLC started to receive emails, phone calls and letters about the necklaces. We learned that not only the hearts of the moms receiving the necklaces were warmed, but those of the children, staff and other family members as well.  Children at many  of the hospitals were able to pick a necklace out and then present it to their mom.  Children were super excited about this opportunity to give to their mom on mom's special day! From a Pediatric Liaison at Sinai we've heard that the "moms were touched by the gifts, all of the moms put the necklaces on right away.  Many of the moms are their long term and they were conversing with each other, comparing necklaces and just so happy to receive a thoughtful and meaningful gift."  TLC received wonderful feedback from University of Maryland Children's Hospital(See below)l as well.  Even a three year old boy was so excited that he called his mom and said "Hurry up, I have a surprise for you!  You, know what a surprise is, right?". ), and one quote from a mom.... "I love it, I'm never taking it off."  One last moment to share; a mom and teenage daughter each received one from Sinai.  The daughter was having an extremely difficult day and was in tears.  The staff on hand decided the daughter needed something to lift her spirits and let her choose one of the wrapped boxes; just so happens that the daughter picked a necklace that had her birthstone color on it! She was thrilled and her disposition changed for the better after that (see photo below)! 


     ( mom, and now happy daughter! Note, they are both wearing their necklaces)

As always it takes many hands to help provide comfort.  We could not have made this happen without our wonderful donors, volunteers and jewelry maker. Blessings to all that had a hand in touching the lives of so many and providing comfort and love in so many ways we could not foresee.