Big news for Austin-based nonprofit Hand to Hold. The organization, which provides resources for parents of premature babies or those that have complications at birth, will now have an on-site presence in its fourth hospital.
Tuesday, it is cutting the ribbon on its partnership with Seton Medical Center. It's already at St. David's Medical Center, St. David's North Austin and Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
What this means is that more Central Texas parents will have direct contact with Hand to Hold ambassadors who have walked in their shoes as parents of children who are born early or with medical complications pr who have died from these complications.
Parents also will be given resources for while in the neonatal intensive care unit as well as after they leave and well into the school years.
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Hand to Hold also recently facilitated another kind of resource for families in four local hospitals. At Hand to Hold's annual fundraiser Baby Shower Luncheon in 2017, the featured speaker was Kristen Schell, who created the Turquoise Table movement.
The concept is simple: Put a turquoise-painted table on your front lawn and have your neighbors be invited to gather there. It's created a real sense of community in neighborhoods around the country. It's also been used at schools.
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During that luncheon, Hand to Hold auctioned off four tables that were designated to be placed at local hospitals.
Kelli Kelley, the founder of Hand to Hold, and her husband Michael bought the table that is at St. David's Medical Center in honor of son Jackson, who was born at 24 weeks, and daughter Lauren, who was born at 34 weeks.
Andra Liemandt bought the table at St. David's North Austin Medical Center's Women's Center of Texas in honor of all of Hand to Hold's families.
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Donna McIntire bought the table at Seton Medical Center in honor of her grandson Declan O'Dell, who was born at 25 weeks. Declan's mother Becky O'Dell is a Hand to Hold ambassador.
Ronda Gray bought the table for Dell Children's Medical Center. The table is at the Ronald McDonald House across the street. Gray bought it for Brent and Amy Beauchamp, in memory of their son Bo, who was born and died on Sept. 22, 2017.
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The hope is that parents with children at these hospitals will have a gathering place to sit and talk.