Hope Reigns: Holden’s Hope offers Support to Parents in Need
8/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Holden's Hope

Most expectant parents imagine leaving the hospital with a sleepy baby nestled in their arms while their support person fumbles with the never-before-used car seat. But, for some, this is not the case. 

They leave alone, walking through the hospital’s oversized glass doors as though they were leaving after visiting a sick friend rather than having just given birth to a tiny bundle of joy who is left behind in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This is unfortunately the reality for one in 10 families, according to the Center for Disease Control.

"Having a premature baby is hard. These babies will spend weeks, months and sometimes years in a NICU unit, and sadly, not all will get to go home. This was the case for our son, Holden William Stine,” said Chavanne Stine, co-founder of Holden’s Hope. "Holden was born at 26 weeks gestation, weighing 1lb 14oz, due to a rare pregnancy complication. His lungs were severely underdeveloped, and he spent the entire year that he survived in the hospital. Knowing first-hand the roller coaster of emotions and obstacles NICU parents and bereaved families face, we wanted to create an organization to lend a helping hand and just say ‘we’re here for you,’” she added. 

Holden’s Hope was born in his memory. The local Louisiana-based nonprofit organization mission focuses on supporting families of infants who have long medical stays in the hospital and families coping with miscarriages, stillbirths, or the loss of an infant.

"We are advocates for families,” said Garrett Stine, co-founder of Holden’s Hope. "The amount of stress, mental energy, expense of care and pressure parents feel in these situations is a heavy burden. We assist families during some of their darkest hours and simply knowing there is an organization in the community like Holden’s Hope and knowing there are others who can relate to their loss is a comfort.”

Since 2015, Holden’s Hope has provided needed support to local families, and fostered partnerships with area hospitals so that they can better serve and meet the needs of these families. The funds generated from their annual fundraisers, especially the Holden’s Hope Forever race day held each spring, have allowed the donation of many items.

Holden's Hope has donated the following items to area hospitals:

  • Miscarriage and infant loss memory boxes
  • Ultrasound bears and frames
  • Baby clothing & blankets
  • Noise machines
  • Gliding rockers
  • Comforting equipment 
  • Furthermore, private and company-driven contributions from the community have enabled the organization to provide:
  • Gas cards and overnight hotel stays for families traveling to visit their child in the NICU
  • Mobiles for cribs
  • Portable DVD players for long-term care babies
  • Infant burial plot assistance and preparations 
  • Funeral expense assistance 

"These donations from our ‘Anchors of Hope’ are vital to alleviating even small worries for these families,” said Garrett. "There is no amount of money that is too small, and we use every dollar to support these families and the NICU units however we can. For instance, just $50 allows us to purchase gas gift cards to assist families as they make many trips between their home and the hospital.”

Most recently, Holden’s Hope and The Foundation at Lake Charles Memorial Health System unveiled the Memorial Bricks of Hope program as a special opportunity for families to memorialize and remember a child. A commemorative brick etched with the child’s personalization will be installed in The Central Plaza at the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Women’s Campus.

"The Bricks of Hope space will be specifically designated to honor these babies,” said Chavanne. "It will serve as an area of comfort, reflection and celebration for families, and the meaningful gift of $250 will support the immediate needs and ongoing projects within the hospital’s NICU in collaboration with Holden’s Hope.”

To request an order, you can visit Holden’s Hope website https://holdenshopeforever.org/memorials/. Orders placed by August 15 will be included in the initial dedication ceremony. To learn more about Holden’s Hope, to become a volunteer, or to become an Anchor of Hope, please visit the website at www.holdenshopeforever.org. 

Posted by: Haley Armand Tarasiewicz | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Parenting

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