LILY'S HOPE FOUNDATION
Lily's Hope Foundation answers the emergency needs of families with premature babies. Lily's Hope accomplishes this by providing resources, aid and hope to families with premature babies through our Preemie Pantry and our Packages of Hope program.
MISSION & HISTORY.
The Lily's Hope Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports babies, children, and their families with unexpected and urgent needs due to premature birth. We support our NICU families by providing them with essential items since they have been unable to prepare for their child's early arrival. Our Lily's Hope Families that are in the middle of this medical crisis are referred to us by hospital case workers, hospital staff, and word of mouth. We work with each individual family to answer their specific needs by way of our Packages of Hope. Our Packages of Hope include items that can often be expensive and difficult to find. Examples of the care package contents are micro-preemie/preemie clothing, preemie diapers, car seats or car seat beds, bassinets, gift cards for use toward transportation to the NICU, and much more.
The Lily’s Hope Foundation was started in honor of our daughter, Lilian Hope, who was born 7 weeks premature, only 2 lbs. 12 oz. and 15 inches long in July 2007. She was born early because of preeclampsia and a placental abruption; small for 33 weeks gestational age. She almost didn’t make it through her first day of life, but thanks to the amazing doctors and nurses at Lehigh Valley Hospital, they saved her life. She was on a ventilator and oscillator for 7 days, had a chest tube, multiple blood transfusions, a brain bleed and spent almost 1 month in the NICU. Later she had speech and physical therapies. Lily struggled with gastrointestinal issues, failure to thrive, had surgery and saw specialists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at age 5.
Additionally our son, Aidan Patrick, who was born October 2013, 3 weeks premature at 5 lbs. 2 oz and 18 1/2 inches long. He had gastrointestinal and pulmonary issues like Lily, as well as severe allergies and asthma due to his prematurity, and sees specialists at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. He also went through early intervention also for physical and speech therapy like Lily.
Lily and Aidan had very rough beginnings, but with their strength, wonderful doctors, hope & prayers, they were able to rise above it all. We remain forever grateful to the great doctors and nurses for saving Lily and Aidan, and would like to help other babies now that have, or will share their experiences.
Immediately upon Lily’s birth, we felt compelled to give back for what we had been blessed with. Given the surprise and inability to anticipate premature birth, we saw a need to help families like us that didn’t have the time or resources to prepare for their child’s early arrival. Additionally, premature babies may have special needs such as specific car seats for infants under 5 pounds, special clothing with buttons and Velcro for cords and IV’s, and much more. These additional needs can be hard to find and very expensive in a short amount of time. As we reflected on the needs of families who shared experiences like ours, we wanted to establish the Lily’s Hope Foundation to provide resources for premature babies and their families.
In 2013, the Lily’s Hope Foundation officially became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our main goal is to help families that are in the NICU and to help make the transition home a little easier. We do this by providing families with essential items since they have been unable to prepare for their child’s early arrival. Our Packages of Hope are Transition Home, Hospital, Emergency Needs as well as Sibling Care Packages. Our families are referred to us by word of mouth, or by case managers, hospital staff, doctors and nurses from hospitals we support. 2014 was our first full fiscal year in action. We exceeded our original expectations and more than doubled our original budget projections. We assisted 44 families across 8 states, raising over $20,000 in monetary and non-monetary donations. Our families are referred to us by word of mouth, or by case managers, hospital staff, doctors and nurses from hospitals we support in Southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2014 we partnered with Grand View Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital (Allentown and Bethlehem locations). 2015 was a banner year. We ended up helping 145 families with our Packages of Hope. We held many fundraisers including our 1st Annual Tournament of Hope Golf Outing, our 1st Annual Lily’s Loop 5K Family Fun Run, Walk or Stroll in September, and our 8th Annual Lily’s Loop at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia in October. Additionally we now have a billboard advertising for Lily’s Hope in the Lehigh Valley, and we have officially trademarked “Lily’s Hope.” In 2015 we partnered with Lehigh Valley Hospital NICU.
2016 was just as exciting a year. We held our 1st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party for Preemie’s Gala, our Annual Tournament of Hope, Lily’s Loop 5K and our 9th Annual Lily’s Loop at Chestnut Hill College We have instituted a new inventory system, and helped 254 families in a total of 30 states. In 2016 we partnered with Pocono Medial (which was bought out by LVHN in 2017) and St Mary Medical NICU’s. We also added the words “aid” and “hope” to our tag line to show the different ways Lily’s Hope is assisting our families. 2017 was an incredible year. We continued with our Gala, Golf Tournament, and Lily’s Loop events in the Lehigh Valley and at Chestnut Hill College. We officially supported 478 families in a total of 39 states. We added Doylestown Hospital and Lehigh Valley Hospital Muhlenberg to our growing list of hospital partners. In the beginning of the year, we unveiled “Hope the Hippo,” the official mascot for Lily’s Hope. We also started our Packing Party events in 2017, trademarked “Lily’s Loop,” and published our children’s book, Lily’s Hope, a Preemie’s Journey of Hope.
2018 was another banner year for Lily’s Hope. We expanded our St. Patrick’s Day Gala and moved it to Hotel Bethlehem. We also added CaroMont Medical in North Carolina. We also gave Lily’s Hope Foundation a home by opening an office on Cedar Crest Boulevard in Allentown, PA. We also assisted 575 families in 2018 and published a book to help the parents of preemie and their journey in the NICU titled, Preemie Parents’ Tips to Get you Thru the NICU.
2019 was a great year by helping 657 families across the country. We added St. Clare’s NICU in Denville, New Jersey, Good Shepherd NICU in Bethlehem, PA and ProgenyHealthy to our list of partners referring families to us for support. Our New Jersey Chapter hosted their first Lily’s Loop walk. Lily’s Hope was also featured in a half hour spot on the New Jersey Spotlight for Channel NJ 12 in addition to other local news features.
In 2020 we have added 2 hospital partners; Kintegra Health in North Carolina and St. Luke’s Anderson Campus in Pennsylvania. We successfully completed our revised ‘Tokens of Hope’ project, and we published our third book, a coloring book titled The Heroic Adventures of Hope the Hippo. Due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we have learned to pivot and be flexible. We started a Share Hope Saturday program which is a contactless curbside program at our office for package pick ups for our families and supply drive drop offs. And in 2021 we added 3 hospital partners; Wake Forest Baptist NICU in North Carolina, St, Luke’s Upper Bucks NICU in Quakertown, PA and Englewood Health in Englewood, NJ. We fundraised asmuch as possible in creative ways due to COVID-19. In 2020 we helped 713 families and in 2021 we helped 770 families.
In 2022, we didn’t add any hospital partners but we did move our office from Cedar Crest Blvd. to Tilghman St. in Allentown, PA. This allowed us to officially launch the Preemie Pantry name for the inventory and warehouse space. Additionally we did add a volunteer event titled Preemies Helping Preemies, encouraging kids that were born prematurely to volunteer with Lily’s Hope. Lastly, we launched “Hope’s Heroes,” a recognition program when
a previous Lily’s Hope recipient visits at one of our events, they receive a certificate, hippo and backpack. We helped 841 families and have supported over 4,400 families since 2013. Mary Sandoval, board member and grant writer, passed away this year. The loss of Mary’s involvement will be felt.
We are thrilled to know we are truly making a difference in the lives of our Lily’s Hope families by the wonderful testimonials and thank you notes we have received.
Lily's Hope Lily's Hope Foundation is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, volunteers, and recipients of our services, benefits, and programs. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable local, state, or federal law in any of our activities or operations, including the provision of services, benefits, and programs. We are an equal opportunity employer and provider.
Many thanks to the following Businesses and Organizations who provide sponsorship and support to Lily's Hope all year round.