The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be a scary place for little ones and their families. In addition to providing around the clock medical care, hospital staff in NICUs also focus on giving their patients’ families as many “normal” moments as they can. One way this is achieved is by dressing babies in regular clothing instead of hospital gowns whenever possible. When our strategic marketing manager, Julie Merar, learned that Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago needed clothing for their patients, she stepped in to help. 

image representing two humans connecting onlineConnecting Online

Julie first learned about the need for clothes when she spotted a post on social media. Corina Davidson, a NICU registered nurse at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, posted in a Facebook group for Chicago area moms asking if anyone had size 2T dresses they could donate to the hospital. Julie messaged Nurse Davidson to learn more. In her reply, Nurse Davidson explained why something as simple as clothing makes such a difference: “I know it seems silly, but to these parents, that’s the only normal they can see with their kids in the hospital. We can still get them in clothes. They’re still babies.” 

Julie took time to find out which types and sizes of clothing the hospital needed most. Nurse Davidson explained that the NICU had some clothing for younger, smaller babies but did not have any for their older patients. There was a particular need for sizes 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 2T. Accessibility was important in selecting clothing. Any donated clothes had to have snap closures (no zippers) to accommodate tubing, trachs, and other medical/monitoring devices. 

Clothes donated to the NICUKindness from Home

COVID-19 has changed the way we approach acts of kindness. Instead of spending the day shopping for clothes that she would drop off at the NICU in person, Julie carried out her act of kindness from home. First, she had Nurse Davidson create an online wishlist for clothing items. Julie then used Random Acts funding to buy everything on the wishlist. Boxes of long-sleeved and short-sleeved onesies, full-on sleepers for sleep and play, rompers, and dresses shipped directly to Nurse Davidson, who could then bring the clothes to work. This ensured that everyone stayed safe while Julie worked her kindness magic. 

NICU nurses posing with donated clothesA Warm Welcome

Both the NICU staff and the patients’ families were thrilled when Nurse Davidson brought in the donated clothes. Nurse Davidson sent along the wonderful photos we have used in this post. She also messaged Julie a heartfelt thank you: “Thank you thank you thank you!!! All of our families and nurses are screaming thank you!!!” 

Giving Thanks

Random Acts has a few thank yous to pass along too. We would like to thank Nurse Davidson and the rest of the NICU staff at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for all of the dedication and care that they pour into their work each day. We would also like to thank Julie for bringing this need to our attention and putting in the effort to pull off this act of kindness. Last but certainly not least, we would like to thank you. Your continued support is what makes beautiful moments like this possible. We could not have done this, or any of our sponsored acts of kindness, without your help. 

Are you feeling inspired by this story? We encourage you to reach out to your local NICUs to see what they are most in need of right now. If you need help along the way, do not hesitate to reach out to your regional representative