Total Basset Case: Grant's Gifts

Sep 14, 2018

Grant's Gifts

I have a passion project that I've been working on for a few months and I am (nervous) but ready and SO EXCITED to launch it into the world.
I mentioned a while ago I was working on something and that was taking away from my time in this space (well, and chasing a nearly 2 year old toddler!) and now I am ready to share! 

The 'big' launch of this project isn't until tomorrow, but because of the love and support our family has always had through the blog, I wanted to share this with you prior to the 'official' launch event.

Without further adieu...drum roll...
I present to you...

The mission of Grant's Gifts is to provide love and support to NICU graduate families, primarily in the form of donations of preemie clothes.  

Many of you remember our NICU journey and because of that unexpected (but beautiful) journey, the idea of this project formed.  

I vividly recall the day I walked into the NICU and Grant was wearing a onesie.  We had been so wrapped up in the craziness of what was going on, the option of him being able to wear clothes had not even dawned on us.  I immediately started crying seeing him wearing a onesie.  That one small, soft piece of cotton meant the world to me.  It gave me the sense of some sort of normalcy within a world that was anything but normal (or expected).  (You can refer to my post here where I talk about a lot of very similar things)
 As soon as I gathered myself, I called Mister and asked him to run out and find/buy him preemie clothes for our little man. 
Mister set off for Buy Buy Baby and sadly only found one very, very small section of preemie clothes.  He was able to find a package of plain white shirts that snapped on the side.  I was in disbelief that there were so few preemie options. 
The next chance I had, I ventured to Target to see what their selection was.  It was the same story, but they had even less options.  Now I was beginning to get upset.  I fully understood that retailers sell many more 0-3 and newborn clothes than preemie, but I still felt like it was... unfair for there to be so few options, if any.  

Now that Grant could wear actual clothes, rather than just a tiny preemie diaper, I wanted to find him some clothes ASAP.   I had ours moms and others on missions about town looking for preemie clothes.  We were slowly able to gather some, wash them quickly, and take them down to the NICU.  I would be lying if I said arriving at the NICU and being able to change Grant's clothes each day wasn't one of the highlights of my day. 
The amount of support we had during and after our NICU stay was amazing.  One day in particular will stay with me, probably forever.  Friends of ours offered to bring over dinner (I'm talking a full spread; lasagna, bread, salad, the works!)  But what was even better than the lasagna (which was amazing) was the fact that she found AND washed a preemie outfit for us.  I was blown away by their thoughtfulness, it meant the world to us that Grant had a brand new outfit to take the next day that was already washed and smelled amazing. 

The fact is, while there is a lot of sitting around and cuddling your new one, NICU families are very busy, and when they're not busy they better be sleeping.  This made the search for preemie clothes even more difficult.
Generally, when you have a preemie, you are not expecting to have a preemie.  Therefore, preemie clothes are generally not on those new mom checklists.
And for me (and I am sure many other moms) gone was the idea of the "going home outfit" I had lovingly picked out for Grant.  He wasn't able to wear that outfit until he was almost 3 months old. 

You may think there is not a huge difference between a newborn onesie and a preemie onesie, but there is a world of difference.  Even outfits that are 0-7lbs were too big on Grant.  The frustration of not being able to clothe your child was real in our world.
We always said the NICU is not really a world you think or know much about until you are thrown into it.  

About a year ago this all hit home once again.  Jen reached out to me that her little man had arrived a few weeks early just like Grant, and she was looking for suggestions on where to buy preemie clothes.  Knowing the difficultly of finding them and and wanting to help, I immediately boxed up Grant's clothes to send to her to borrow.  Along with that, I wanted to send a new outfit as well.  Off to Target I went, and they had TWO options (boy and girl).  This caused me to get aggravated all over again and have flashbacks of our journey not so long ago.  This sparked a fire in me.  I came home and told Mister this shouldn't be this big of a problem.

In short I want to put preemie clothes into the hands of NICU/preemie families so they can experience the same joy and normalcy we did seeing Grant in clothes.  
I want to relieve a tiny bit of stress that those families are going through.
I want them to have a special outfit for photo day.  
I want them to have an outfit they remember their baby wearing on the day the graduated from the NICU and were able to go home.

That is the (long) story short of how Grant's Gifts came to be.
After this idea was born, I was introduced to an amazing Cincinnati based non profit called Vivian's Victory whose passion is also to help NICU families.  I am elated and honored to be working under them as a program collecting and donating preemie clothes to families in the NICU.  

Head on over to Grant's Gifts to learn more!  
If you would like to donate you can text 'grantsgifts' to 71777 or clothes can be mailed to the address on the site. 
(fyi-there are still a few tweaks happening to the site if anything looks off, we are working on it!  The official donation page is still having some kinks worked out so at this time, texting may be the easiest option.  I'll update the post once the kinks are worked out.)
I always make it a habit to check the sale/clearance rack at any store I am visiting to see if they have preemie items.  Some favorites are Target, Wal-Mart, Carters, Old Navy, Gap and Meijer.
I would love if that was something you incorporated into your shopping trips as well.

Thank you as always for your love and support!!
Follow Grant's Gifts on Instagram here and Facebook here!


Katie said...

This is so amazing, Sarah!!! I remember trying to find an outfit for little G and couldn’t find any premie stuff. Amazon came to the win but it definitely opened my eyes too! Love this so much.

Anne said...

Sarah, this is so wonderful! So great that you are sharing your story, and I so appreciate that you are providing all of the rest of us with a small but tangible way to help, that sounds like it will make a big difference to people. And how cool to have this coming out right around little mister's 2nd birthday - what a way to celebrate how mighty he's been all along (and all of these other little NICU sweeties too). Look for a package of too-cute-to-resist sleepers selected by the Hoekmans to arrive soon ;-)

Nancy Lee said...

So awesome that you are sharing your story, and I so value that you are giving the majority of whatever remains of us with a little however substantial approach to enable, that sounds to like it will have a major effect to individuals. By the way, I need some idea about gifts for lonely elderly.

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I mentioned a while ago I was working on something and that was taking away from my time in this space (well, and chasing a nearly 2 year old toddler!) and now I am ready to share!

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