On Wednesday 4th April 2012, we celebrated our annual `Wear Green for Premmies` event & what a fantastic & successful day it was. The event saw hospitals, sponsors, families, friends, work collegues, Facebook pages & strangers united in celebrating all our precious babies born too soon.
The support our day received was so widespread with 8 hospitals around the country encouraging families to wear green. St Vincent Private Hospital & Sunshine Hospital (VIC), Lyell McEwin & The Women Children’s Hospital (SA), Westmead, Campbelltown & Fairfield Hospitals (NSW) & Launceston Hospital (TAS) all took part.
Our wonderful sponsors, Pumpkin Patch, Bellabee Candles, Emotive Images, Earlybirds & Your Cheeky Monkey were a huge support with Earlybirds creating one of their famous Team Earlybird videos (below) & they also included event flyers with every order posted from their website throughout March.
Bellabee Candles & Mums Bubs & Gifts very generously sold our wristbands via their online stores. Child care centres took part with Tyner Road Occassional Care in Wantirna, Victoria choosing a “green theme” day. The kids all had a blast.
Facebook was flooded with green! Thousands of status updates were mentioning the day, both our event pages were very busy with photos of prems with their siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, photos of grandparents overseas & even a gorgeous little boy meeting his favourite group `High-5` and taking a picture proudly wearing his green t-shirt.
Our posters were designed with “the face” of Caelan, a beautiful photo taken by his mum Andrena when he was in hospital. Included on the poster was also a handsome young man called Ethan & beautiful Nakita wearing a green nappy & wristband. Our good friends at Yasminah’s Gift of Hope drove around Sydney delivering Gift Bags to families currently in the NICU/SCN. They provided morning tea, support and a friendly chat. Included inside the giftbags were beautiful premmie gowns, our co-joint Premmie Gift of Hope Journals and other lovely items. The premmie gowns were kindly donated by Sewing Mummy, Karen Cuthbert. Karen cut and sewed 100 lime green premmie gowns. Between 7 children & yards of material, Karen is truly amazing. All gowns were donated and given to a handful of hospitals around the country. Another wonderful mum, Sarah was in the middle of sewing our newborn & premmie beanies when she went into labour. She gave birth to her 5th little man at 28 weeks. Sarah was more concerned about the beanies being completed than labour so she organised for her mum to finish making them for us. We are very grateful for the amazing support & generosity provided by everyone.
We also saw the event spread via the support of the media. St Vincent Private Hospital gracefully supported us with one of their precious nursery treasures being the face of our article featured in the Herald Sun. Practical Parenting & Mamamia featured the event on their websites and 100′s (literally) of Facebook pages posted and shared details about the day to their fans. A segment even aired on Channel 10′s The Circle! When we saw that they had turned their screen green we had tears in our eyes. We had worked so hard for many months in the lead up to the event, it was wonderful to see how far it had reached. We would love to list everyone individually who helped spread the word about our event but we wouldn’t want to miss anyone from the list so we would like to send a HUGE thank you to everyone who mentioned the day. You can visit our media page & see some of the pages we captured. We also wanted to acknowledge the wonderful members and friends who supported us behind the scenes. They certainly know who they are and we are very appreciative of everything they did to lift the spirits and profile of the day.
We saw almost 10,000 people `attend` the event page which was incredible. Thank you to everyone for sharing our pages. The day was about raising awareness, sharing support, acknowledging the struggle that all children born too early face & raising money for charities that support not only prems but all children who are faced with different challenges. In total we sold over 2,000 wristbands and a total of $2,500 was raised. Each of the charities received a $500 donation on behalf of the day with a further $500 donated to the National Premmie Foundation through generous people fundraising and donating directly.
The recipient’s in 2012 were chosen directly by our wonderful members. Their families have all been touched with the generosity of the charities below.
- Scope (for people with a disability) - www.scopevic.org.au
- Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank – www.mercyhealthbreastmilkbank.com.au
- King Edward Memorial Hospital PREM Bank – www.kemh.health.wa.gov.au
- Mother’s Milk Bank – RBWH – www.rbwhfoundation.com.au
- Heartkids – www.heartkids.org.au
Thank you to each and everyone of you who wore green on the day, brought a wristband and took a moment to remember our very special children. The day was a success because of how you all celebrated. It is such a simple and fun event where anyone who has known someone touched by prematurity can take part whilst also knowing that you are making a difference. Next year we will have our wristbands available as well as t-shirts, hats (which are available now), lanyards and more via our online shop.
The National Premmie Foundation will be celebrating World Prematurity Month in November. We will be taking part in this celebration alongside the other wonderful member groups of the Foundation. The National Premmie Foundation is the peak body in Australia for charitable organisations that operate to provide support to families who experience premature birth or neonatal loss. With member groups across Australia the NPF is the largest organisation in Australia representing the interests of families of preterm infants. Make sure you join the official NPF Facebook page and lookout for updates. We are grateful for the endless support and promotion of our event via the member group pages. We proudly support families alongside Lifes Little Treasures Foundation, Yasminah’s Gift of Hope, Loddon Mallee Kids & Preterm Infants’ Parents’ Association. Together we make a difference.
Below are some beautiful photos shared with us from families & friends celebrating on the 4th April 2012. Don’t forget to pen Wednesday 3rd April 2013 in your calendar for our event next year!