Lily’s Hope Foundation

Lily’s Hope Foundation

Providing support for preemie babies and their families

 

The best laid plans of mice and men—and storks—do sometimes go awry!

Most pregnancies last 40 weeks, but about 12 percent of babies don’t complete their 40 week gestation. These babies are born prematurely and they (and their parents) need a lot of help and hope. Here in the Lehigh Valley, an agency offers just that.

Lily’s Hope Foundation was founded in 2013 by Jennifer and Justin Driscoll, local parents of two prematurely born babies, Lilian Hope and Aidan Patrick.

The Driscolls know first-hand what families of a premature baby go through. “After we had these experiences with our own children, we were inspired to create something that would help other parents of premature babies during this challenging time,” says Jennifer.

 

“Being an all-volunteer, non-profit organization,

we depend on volunteers and the community.”

 

“Being an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, we depend on volunteers and the community.”

Lily’s Hope Foundation’s core mission is to support NICU families by providing them with support and care packages. In most instances, they have been unable to prepare for their child’s early arrival, so each “Package of Hope” is assembled with items to help meet the family’s specific needs.

What’s in a “Package of Hope”?

1. Hospital Package
This care package has vital and basic items such as  blankets, hand sanitizer, coffee, snacks, and cleaning wipes to allow families to focus on their little one while in the NICU.

2. Transition Home Package
This care package is meant to help families feel prepared for their little one when they come home from the NICU and contains items such as preemie clothing, bottles, and diapers.

3. Sibling Package
This care package supports others kids in the family by providing items to let them know they’re still important and to keep them entertained such as toys and books.

In 2014, their first year of operation, Lily’s Hope Foundation provided care packages to 44 families. That number has grown steadily each year, reaching 478 in 2017. To date, Lily’s Hope Foundation has helped more than 1,000 families.

“Lily’s Hope is rapidly growing, and we couldn’t be happier,” Jennifer said. “Being an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, we depend on volunteers and the community, because our families need to focus on the health of their fragile newborns. We are so grateful to the community for their amazing support to help the foundation grow and our families thrive.” 

In 2015, Jennifer and Lily wrote a book about Lily and Aidan and the role hope has in their lives. In 2016, Jennifer contacted her talented friend, Heather L. Corey, and asked her to illustrate it. Now, after two years of collaboration, Lily’s Hope: A Preemie’s Journey of Hope, is available on lilyshopefoundation.org.

 

Premature babies and newborn babies who need intensive medical attention are often admitted into a special area of the hospital called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU combines advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals to provide specialized care for the tiniest patients.

 

Exciting New Ventures

Lilly’s Hope is growing fast and has several exciting things in the works:

A New Book:
Preemie Parents’ Tips to Get You Thru the NICU is a new 48-page book by Jennifer Driscoll that offers tips, advice, packing lists, journal prompts, and more. Available this spring everywhere books are sold, including amazon.com.

A New Office:
Lily’s Hope Foundation had been operating out of Jennifer and Justin’s home since its inception. Long bursting at the seams, they’ve finally relocated to 1148 S. Cedar Crest Blvd. in Allentown.

A New Partnership:
Lily’s Hope Foundation has been partnering with hospitals in Pennsylvania since 2014. This month, Lily’s Hope is proud to announce its newest partner hospital: CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia, NC!

How to Get Involved
You can help Lily’s Hope reach more families in need in several easy ways.

Join a Packing Party:
Kids and adults can volunteer to help assemble care packages on the third Monday of every month at the Capital Blue Store at The Promenade Shops from 5 to 7 p.m. Bonus: A light dinner is provided courtesy of the Healthy You Cafe.

Start a Lily’s Loop Team:
Lily’s Hope is having its 4th Annual Lily’s Loop 5K Run/Walk and 1K Stroll on October 13th at the Velodrome in Breinigsville. Create your own team and fundraise for a good cause. There will be music, games, and snacks.

Donate money:
Because this is a volunteer-run organization, monetary donations are greatly appreciated to help Lily’s Hope Foundation better serve families in need. Donate at their website. For more information, visit lilyshopefoundation.orge-mail [email protected], or call 267.776.HOPE.

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