Unexpected tragedy strikes—that’s just life sometimes. As I write these words, I find myself writing with one hand while holding my 1-week-old baby girl in the NICU with the other arm. And I must say, this is a pretty odd place to be sitting. The emotional roller coaster of being thankful for a new baby, but also the fear and uncertainty as she is hooked up to multiple wires and tubes, has a way of rattling even the most confident adult.
In your community right now, there are multiple families sitting in a similar room. And to those families, small gestures can make a big difference. Here are a few fresh ways to support families with babies in the NICU:
- Recruit crafters at your church to crochet a bunch of baby hats, tiny blankets, socks, etc., and leave them at the nurses’ desk to be delivered to each room.
- Mobilize kids’ classes or families to collect materials for the waiting room, like puzzle books, small toys, coloring books, and crayons.
- Organize a book drive and have children’s books delivered to each room with a note written inside the front cover: “We’re praying for you.”
- Collect small teddy bears or soft toys for each baby.
- Create prayer request cards to leave at the nurses’ desk. Work it out with the hospital for a church staff member to pick up cards that have been filled out so your church’s prayer team can continue to pray.
- Is it near a holiday? Make (or take) a holiday-themed gift, like mini Christmas stockings or Valentine’s teddy bears.
- Gather a group to write encouragement notes with Scripture verses for the parents and siblings of the babies in the NICU.
You most likely will not be able to be in contact with the families themselves in the NICU, but instead will leave the items with the nurses. No matter what you do or take, be sure to include a hand-written note with a promise of your prayers, an invitation to worship at your church on Sunday, and something that shares the good news of Jesus.
Autumn Wall is a church planter’s wife in Indianapolis and the daughter of Diana Davis, who originated “Fresh Ideas.” Autumn and her husband, Yale, have three children; their youngest, Kayleigh, is home from the NICU and doing well.