Monday, March 7, 2011

Kickin' It Off

We went to the March of Dimes Family Kick-off event on Sunday March 6th. It was held at The Children's Museum, which incidentally was voted #1 children's museum in the US. The place was packed as it was also the first free Bank of America museum day.

I met so many wonderful families who shared their stories. Some were heartbreaking, some were triumphant but all were inspirational.

The 2011 Houston Ambassador family was there. I met Jaclyn of The Haynes Phamily team. I spent several minutes speaking with her about ideas for fundraising. They were the number 5 family team in 2010 and they are geared to hit $10,000 in 2011.

Another family (I wish I had gotten her name) shared their story of the passing of one of their twins. As a mother of twins, I could not listen to this brave mother's painful story without tearing up.

I also met Sheryl McGowen, the Houston family team specialist and a mother of quads. She lost one of her babies. Her strength and her story truly brought me to tears.

We watched this video.

How I got involved with the March of Dimes

I am the VP of Programs for my moms of multiples group. Every year, a speaker talks to our group about March of dimes and we make a donation as a club to the March of Dimes. Registration had started earlier this year and I was in search of a Team Captain. I decided to take on that role because I worried that no one else would volunteer to do it and I did not want it to be a huge fail. When a fellow twin mom said she would assist, I thought I could relinquish my captain duties and let her run the show. I signed up as a walker but was unsure about walking on May 1st. The state mothers of multiples convention coincides with the March for Babies walk. Being a current board member of my club, I wanted to attend the convention. I was still up in the air about both events. Because of financial reasons, the cost of attending the convention would have prevented me from attending the convention. Fortunately, my club was able to pay for a large portion of my trip and I decided to go to convention.

I still wanted to raise money using the online donation tool;I decided to send out an email to friends and family asking for their support of my fundraising efforts. Much to my surprise, within 24 hours, I had raised over $200 dollars. I could not believe it. Two very generous donors opened my eyes. This was a powerful tool. I wrote about how S and D came into this world. I wrote about why March of Dimes is so important in the fight to help reduce early births resulting in premature babies. I wrote about wanting to help a great cause. I wanted people to hear my story and be touched by S and D's story..

S on his birth day getting hooked up in NICU.

D getting some much needed rest after his birth. he was an abruption and swallowed lots of blood.

S getting phototherapy treatment for jaundice, which is very common in premature babies.

People's generosity moved me so much that I felt I had to do the walk. It was not a feeling of obligation that spurred me to want to do the March for Babies walk. My donors gave of themselves and I wanted to give back to the organization that helped my boys during their 3 week stay in NICU.

For the last month, I have been informing my club, my co-workers, anyone who would listen, about the March of Dimes. I have been working on recruiting walkers, putting together team materials and sending tons of emails to the area reps getting so many wonderful ideas to get people involved.

I have become a woman on a mission. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Houston March for Babies and I want it to be great! I have increased my personal goal twice and I increased our Team goal twice. we just started a March of Dimes Scentsy and Thirty-One Gifts Online Fundraiser;that will go until the end of March. We have also planned a Bunco for Babies ladies night where attendees "buy in" with $15 and a (cheap) bottle of wine. Money for the babies and wine for the ladies.

I am proud of the work we have done so far. As a cub team, we have raised over $2000 already.
I plan to participate in March for babies from now on and my goal is to add more walkers to my team. I am armed with so many ideas, next year will top 2011!

Want to learn more about March of Dimes and March for Babies, please visit my team page.

NICU Photos