For the Women’s Legacy Circle (WLC), it was a simple way to help. Just a box with a few onesies, a thermometer and other basic necessities for new moms. But for those on the receiving end, it was something far more.
“I felt like I was drowning,” one struggling young mom says. “And now I feel hope.”
The Women’s Legacy Circle Newborn Kits are just one small part of Healthy Beginnings – a large community initiative led by Carle working to reduce poverty by bringing government and community organizations together to help families in need.
Anne Mikalik, BSN, a Healthy Beginnings nurse home-visitor, says one of her fellow nurses recognized a teaching moment when a client rushed to the ER with a choking baby. While the baby was OK, the nurse used her next home visit to demonstrate how to remove choking hazards with a helpful tool provided in her kit.
“In my client’s home country, they don’t have bulb syringes, so she didn’t know how to use it or what it was for,” she shares, adding that the new mom was extremely grateful for the gift.
The Women’s Legacy Circle hopes to fund projects that are even more extraordinary in the next year. WLC funds employee-identified projects that benefit patients.
Home visiting services – a major component of the new initiative – match expectant moms with a nurse who helps them prepare for their baby’s arrival and provides continuing in-home visits once the child is born. The kits, made possible through a generous $11,820 grant from the Women’s Legacy Circle, provide helpful necessities while giving nurses the tools they need to educate new parents.
Altogether, the Women’s Legacy Circle provided 200 Newborn Kits for the home visits, which began in October 2017. Over 80 percent of those enrolled are eligible for help. But Mikalik doesn’t need statistics to know she’s making a difference.
“One of our nurses had a client grab her by the hand and take her to the kitchen to point out the picture of her daughter in a Healthy Beginnings fridge magnet that we’d given her,” says Anne. “It was so sweet to see how grateful she was for this small gift and how proud she is that her baby is a Healthy Beginnings baby.”