After years of extensive planning, we three mamas just launched Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive only four months ago. Can you believe it's only been four months?? We sure can't! We've been so busy reviewing applications, fundraising, asking carrier companies for contributions, shipping out carriers, following up with our recipient families, and - oh that's right- we also work outside of the home, volunteer in other capacities, and have families of our own with nine little boys by our sides! Whew!
Our initial goal when we launched in April 2014 was to send out 50 carriers by the end of the year. Well, here we are in August and we have shipped over 100 carriers already! That's a LOT of carriers, folks.
We not only send out carriers with love, we also include safety sheets and information on babywearing meetings local to each recipient
Shipping Day is always an adventure with our little assistants. The post office employees know us well!
But the journey doesn't end at the post office. The real journey begins when these carriers find their homes and begin to change the lives of families who have children with special needs.
We'd like to take a moment to catch our breath and look back at the lives that have been changed in just a short amount of time. All of this is because of YOUR help- these families have been touched by YOU sharing our page, telling a friend about Lift Me Up, buying our t-shirts, and making donations on our website. Here they are, thanking YOU for your support:
Some of our very first recipients, Amanda and her son Noah
“Noah was born with a genetic bone disorder called Osteogenesis Imperfecta type 3. I thought when we received this news that I’d never be able to wear him, as I tried numerous carriers. The help and support I have received from Lift Me Up has been a Godsend! We now have a carrier that works and Noah can be strapped onto me like the little kangaroo baby he is!” -Amanda and her son Noah (osteogenesis imperfecta)
We love seeing dads babywearing, too! Shelby thanked us for sending their daughter an Ergobaby carrier, and she also sent us this awesome daddy-wearing picture![/caption]
“Got my ergo in today thank you sooooooooooooo much!!!!! This is going to make trips to the children's hospital so much easier! ...Without Lift Me Up I would never have been able to get an ergonomic carrier for my daughter.” -Shelby
Michelle and her son, some of our very first recipients, enjoying their carrier at George's favorite beach
“Special thank you to Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive for the new carrier for George. George has spina bifida. He can walk but wears out easier than most kids. This carrier will make it possible for us to continue to hike out to his favorite beach and all of the other places in nature he loves where it's not always easy for him to maneuver. We are touched by your thoughtfulness.” -Michelle, son George (spina bifida)
Devyn shared her story with us: "My special needs son has been admitted to the hospital TWICE in the last week. I am breastfeeding my 4 month old daughter so I have to have her with me at all times. I don't know how I would've survived without my RS, donated to me from Lift Me Up. Thank you for making a stressful situation just a teeny bit easier by allowing me to meet both of my children's needs at the same time. Here is a picture of my daughter and I at the hospital."[/caption]
“This is the greatest organization I have ever been lucky to be a part of. It is such a simple thing that no one would really ever think about but it is so, so helpful to caretakers of special needs children. I wish I had known about Lift Me Up when my son was younger because I would have been able to wear him when he was much smaller. But now that I have an infant to take care of as well, having something to keep her near and feeling secure while I am still able to take care of my disabled child is wonderful. I don’t have to feel guilty about having so much attention directed toward one child vs the other because I can have both of their needs met at the same time. Thank you so much for all that you do and thank you for giving me the gift of babywearing!” - Devyn, son Noah (Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease)
Autumn and her son, Theodore, wrapped up cozy on his mommy
“Thanks to the mamas of Lift Me Up I have this wonderful cotton Storchenwiege wrap! Now I am able to better care for my 6 other kids while wearing Mr Theodore, plus he loves it!!! He has Down syndrome and is very floppy (Hypotonic) and slow to gain weight too, but I've read that wearing him helps him grow, plus keeping him close helps me hear him and get him fed whenever he makes his small 'I'm a bit hungry now' noises Wearing him in a high rucksack carry is our best carry right now, really, I need my arms and hands free as much as possible... I am forever grateful for this awesome wrap!!! I'm going to be wearing this little guy a loooong long time, thank you so much for helping me!!!” -Autumn, son Theo (Down Syndrome)
Priscilla and her daughter, Samantha, enjoying their new carrier together
"Samantha has been able to do things that she wasn't able to in her wheelchair/stroller! We've been to parks and appointments. Her sister has worn her and they both loved it! We went to a feed store and she was able to get close up and reach in and touch the animals. She's explored her grandparents 2 acres when last year I was unable to push her stroller through because it got stuck, trails were too narrow, or the incline was too steep. There are so many things and places we have been that weren't accessible to her in her chair. Things that we've done she would normally have to stay behind with someone or none of us would have done them. Our whole family is getting to enjoy more Together! Thank you Lift Me Up!" -Priscilla, daughter Samantha (Osteogenesis Imperfecta)
Dawn and her son Jacob enjoying their new Ergobaby carrier
“Thank you so much for getting my son and I our Ergobaby carrier, it has made such a difference in our everyday lives!” - Dawn, son Jacob (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy)
Angel and her son, Grayson, snuggling together in their new Ergobaby carrier
“This carrier has made things so much easier for me getting my children in and out of therapies, doctor's offices and church. I have 5 children, ages 11 years down to 22 months. My 9 year old has autism and my 22 month old has Down syndrome and is not walking yet. We have 3 therapies a week for the youngest and 2 for the older, so we are constantly getting in and out of the car and with 5 kids in tow, the carrier has made getting where we need to go so much easier. He loves riding in the carrier and being so close to me and I love that my hands are free to hold my other boys' hands as we walk wherever we need to go. THANK YOU for the Ergobaby carrier! You have made a huge difference in our lives and I can't wait to pay it forward some day.” -Angel, son Grayson
We three mamas of Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive are honored to share your stories. Thank you so much to all of our recipients that kindly send in pictures and tell us how your lives have been changed by babywearing. It's our privilege to work hard to raise funds and gather carriers from these wonderful companies, and to be able to provide them at no cost to you.
If you have a child who has special needs and you want to share how babywearing has improved your life, helped you meet the needs of your child(ren), and has aided in the healthy development of your child, please send us a picture or video to [email protected] or post on our facebook wall or on Instagram @liftmeupbaby. Don't forget to use our story hashtag (#BabywearToThrive)! By sharing your story, or just sharing a quick moment in time where babywearing has helped you, you can help show the world how babywearing is NEEDED in the special needs community, and you can even help inspire more carrier companies to donate to this cause. YOU can be the change! So... let's go... Tell us how you #BabywearToThrive
Photos provided by Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive recipients, all permissions granted
Posted on Tue, August 26, 2014