November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Emma would have been 10 months old yesterday had she lived. However, she is 3 months into her eternal life with Jesus. Amen and Praise God! However, that doesn't stop us from needing to be aware of the fact that hundereds of thousands of babies are born prematurely each year. There are various ways you can help these babies and those who help them as they fight to survive.
1. Pray - Pray for the babies, their families, the doctors and nurses who will be a part of their tiny little lives. Sometimes their stay in the hospital is short. Sometimes it is long. However, the prayers that are lifted up for them mean all the difference.
2. Donate - give to your local Children's Hospital. In Knoxville there are various ways you can donate. You can pledge an amount during their annual fundraiser each Spring. Or for some fun, you can attend the Fantasy of Trees the week of Thanksgiving at the Knoxville Convention Center. Funds from this event help the hospital raise much needed money for purchasing new machines that help in the ever-present fight for the lives of these children.
3. Donate - give to your local Ronald McDonald House. These homes provide a restful atmosphere that feels like home so that families can stay near their little ones while they are in the hospital. You can give by providing funds, cooking meals, and various other volunteer activities.
4. Support the March of Dimes.
5. Support a ministry like Gus's Gang. This was started out of one family's loss of their child, Gus. The family used Gus's name to stand for God Understands Suffering and titled their ministry Gus's Gang. Gus's Gang maintains a blog for families of chronically ill children with updates so others can be praying for the families and rejoice in their steps and pray more fervently with their setbacks. They also reach out to the familes and the other siblings in these families who are also affected by a sick sibling.
** Thanks to JD over at Gus's Mom blog for the idea for this blog today.