making it happen local charity spotlightSometimes life throws a curve ball. For those awaiting the arrival of a baby, an early or premature birth can leave parents spinning in a sea of emotions and scrambling to care for their little one. That’s where Lily’s Hope Foundation of Coopersburg steps in and provides resources, aid and hope to families in need.

Lily’s Hope, founded by Justin and Jennifer Driscoll, became a way to give back following their daughter’s premature birth in 2007. The Driscolls were not fully prepared for Lilian Hope’s arrival when she came seven weeks early. And with a month spent in the neonatal intensive care unit, it wasn’t the picture-perfect beginning for which everyone plans.

Packages of Hope

Based on their own experience, the Driscolls wanted to help other young families who did not have either the time or resources to prepare for their child’s arrival. Thinking of the things that would have helped them at the time, Lily’s Hope gives practical support by providing care packages. Depending on the need, families receive items to assist with their in-hospital or heading-home care needs. Baby wipes, preemie diapers, clothing, formula, detergent, and blankets are some of the many items in the Packages of Hope.

The Hospital package contains essential items for families so they can focus on caring for their baby while staying in the NICU. Families that are Transitioning Home receive a package that contains basic baby care supplies.

Additionally, many of the preemies have special clothing and equipment needs which can be either difficult to find or expensive. Clothing needs include items with buttons or Velcros that easily allow wires for monitors and IVs or outfits in preemie or micro preemie sizes. Parents may face difficultly too in acquiring a car seat that has a minimum weight rating for babies under 5 pounds and they need a quick solution as they prepare to take baby home.

As the couple’s efforts increased, Lily’s Hope became an official non-profit in 2013. To date they have helped over 850 families across 30 states by supplying essential baby care items. Though practical in nature, the packages also support and bolster the spirits of parents during this critical time. Their website also features a page of links with resources and information on caring for children born prematurely. They also launched their own Facebook support group so families can connect and offer each other comfort and support.

How to Help

The organization relies on donations and support from the community to fund its work. They hold several fundraisers like a 5K, an annual golf tournament and a St. Patrick’s Day Party for Preemies. Volunteers are welcome to join the group on the third Monday of every month to assemble portions of the care packages so they are ready to go when the need arises. See their Events page for details on times and location.

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