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At Thanksgiving, we all love to express our gratitude in words. And what more beautiful season to speak them? But with the shopping frenzy that takes over just as soon as we’ve finished the pie (if not before), it’s often difficult to find time for deep reflection, let alone inspired action.
So what if we could pair our sentiment of gratefulness with the act of giving? What if we could give to a worthy organization, on behalf of someone else who needs a helping hand? This year, and for the past three years, The Basket Lady has paired our sentiment of gratefulness by giving to a worthy organization.
That’s where #GivingTuesday comes in.
Founded in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become an important way for individuals and organizations to give back after the nation’s biggest shopping weekend. Two organizations—92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation—partnered to launch the movement as a response to national sentiment on the increasingly commercial feeling of the Thanksgiving holiday, and the days afterward. In 2015, over 700,000 people raised $116,000,000 online in over 70 countries, for a variety of charitable organizations, schools, hospitals and arts groups.
This year, The Basket Lady is excited to join in the fifth annual #GivingTuesday by giving back 10% of our sales on Tuesday, November 29th, to The Jackson Chance Foundation. This amazing organization helps cover transportation and parking costs for parents whose babies are in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). As a CNN Heroes organization, the Jackson Chance Foundation provides children and parents the opportunity to bond with one another despite critical and challenging circumstances.
The Basket Lady COO Kelli Katch has a passion for this cause, because she’s lived the challenges herself of being a NICU parent. When her son Felix (also grandson of The Basket Lady founder Carol Littman) was born 7 weeks prematurely, he spent 6 weeks in the NICU at Prentice Women’s Hospital in downtown Chicago (Kelli, Carol and Felix pictured above). Kelli commuted daily to be with him, often spending up to 12 hours a day with her son.
Three months after Felix was discharged, another newborn entered a nearby NICU. Like Kelli, his parents dreamed of a long and healthy life for him. Passing away just ten months later, on September 7th, 2012, Jackson Chance Meghie spent all but 48 hours of his life in NICU. His parents Terry and Carrie quickly became well acquainted with the transportation costs necessary to spend time with their son. In response to their tragedy, and in celebration of Jackson’s life, they founded the organization to give other parents a chance to be with their children.
According to the Meghies, critically ill babies often spend not days or weeks, but months, in NICU. For many parents this brings a host of unexpected expenses, as they rearrange their schedules to accommodate this often-unexpected turn of events. The average cost of parking can be more than $1100 just for part-time visiting. Add to that the fact that young children are most critically in need of parent-child bonding at this phase of their lives. When parents are forced to be absent from NICU due to costs, this natural process can be severely stunted.
Felix at the Prentice Women's Hospital NICU in June 2011.
Today, the mission of the Jackson Chance Foundation is “enriching the lives of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago by providing transportation and parking to families.” In 2016, the Jackson Chance Foundation was selected as a CNN Heroes organization. (Watch Founder Carrie Meghie’s interview here.)
What could be more worthy of Thanksgiving than that?
At The Basket Lady, we’re proud to support this amazing organization, and share in their story through our mutual family experiences. Join us in support of The Jackson Chance Foundation by making your purchases on #GivingTuesday, and we’ll be honored to share 10% of your purchase to help bring together parents with their babies in the NICU. Plus, every time you glance at or use your basket in the years to come, you can be reminded of that you helped provide a precious gift of time between a parent and their baby.