Healthy Start Activities
The Healthy Start Coalition has initiated the following activities:
- Threads of Remembrance – A program that provides hand made caps and gowns for fetal and infant demises at both local hospitals. The babies are wrapped in the clothes when the parents request to hold and spend time with their baby.
- Cribs for Kids – The direct service staff provide new parents with a safe place for their newborns to sleep by distributing pack and plays/playpens along with a safe sleep educational video that is mandatory to view before the parent can obtain the pack and play.
- World’s Great Baby Shower – The Coalition hosts a baby shower event that provides hundreds of expectant and new parents’ with educational information and door prizes that include car seats, pack and plays, strollers and cribs.
- Diapers and Gas Vouchers – When funding is available the direct service staff provide diapers to families in need. Gas vouchers are also available for distribution to families in order to visit their child that is admitted to the two surrounding high risk hospitals in our area, Shands and Sacred Heart.
- Childbirth Education and Car Seat Safety Classes –The Direct service staff provide childbirth education classes which include educational information for the moms to have a safe and healthy pregnancy experience. Car seat safety classes are conducted and the parents are provided with a car seat that is securely installed in their vehicle. Through our Car Seat Referral program, car seats are provided to families in need when funding is available.
- Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Team – The Coalition conducts 8 meetings a year where health care providers and social service professionals abstract cases which involve fetal and infant demises. The purpose of these meetings is for the Coalition to have input from the community as to what steps can be taken in the future for prevention methods.
- Clothing For Children – A local children’s consignment store donates the clothing and shoes that are not sold and the Coalition direct service staff are able to disseminate the items to the families served.
- Interagency/Coalition Meetings – The Coalition conducts monthly meetings attended by social service agency personnel which gives attendees the chance to network and share agency announcements and available services.
- Real Care Baby Program – The local boys and girls clubs conduct mini workshops with the children at their centers. The children at the clubs are responsible for caring for a computer simulated baby. They are taught the extensive amount of work it takes to care for a baby.
- Walk to Remember – The Coalition host the Walk to Remember in October of each year. The Walk to Remember is a national event dedicated to babies who die each year through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death. It consists of a short walk, a balloon release, special music and a candle lighting ceremony. The Walk to Remember is a gathering for parents, families, friends and health care providers to connect and express grief of a loss in a visible and active way. Bereavement educational materials, Angel Boards, Children’s Activities, and a Reading of the Names of Babies lost is also a part of this event. We will walk the steps our babies will never take and celebrate their lives, no matter how short.
- Last Rites for Little Ones – This program offers financial assistance towards funeral costs to families in need that have a fetal or infant loss in our community. The program is offered through referrals at the hospitals and funeral homes.
- Support Group for Moms of Angels – Three mothers that were recipients of the Last Rites for Little Ones program create memory boxes for both local hospitals to give out with each fetal and infant loss. In addition, they are starting a grief support group for local families