Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gweneth's 5th Birthday ~ Reverse Gifting

Gwyneth's Reverse Birthday/Gifting
Gweneth Rose

As many of you read in my blog  "Sweet Tricia" , I am forever amazed by the grace, good hearts and thoughtfulness that can come from folks even when they themselves are going through unthinkable pains . My friends Nate, Tricia & Gweneth are such people . As Tricia awaits reactivation for her second double lung transplant they continue to love on others . I'm sure if I spent as much time as they did in a hospital, doctors office , and hotel I'd be thinking only of my own selfishness . Their strength and ability to think on and  love on others continues to challenge me .

Nate & Tricia's miracle baby Gweneth , is turning 5 this month . In honor of the miracle that is Gweneth's life and how God continues to provide for them they have made a amazing tradition out of her birthday that goes beyond cakes, ice cream and gifts . I had to share this awesomeness with you all . If you are interested in taking part what's written below is from the event page Nathan posted on Face Book . It has details, mailing address, words of testimony and how they came about the idea .

With the early arrival of my sweet friends son Hudson , written about here I am even more aware of the need that this awesome birthday event is meeting . I've posted many times on giving back , loving on others , and the little things that can change a persons day and sometimes life . This is a wonderful opportunity and with all the after Christmas sales going on I wouldn't think it'd be all that expensive either . If you're looking for a way to give back , I'd like to encourage you to consider this birthday event .

"One of our favorite days of the year! Gwyneth Rose will be turning five on January 8! And, while we love birthday parties and cake and ice cream, our favorite part about this grand day is what we like to call "reverse gifting".

For the past three years for Gwyneth's birthday we've asked our friends and family to forgo any birthday gifts for Gwyneth (really, she has everything a five year old could want/need already) and instead purchase new or gently used preemie clothes for us to deliver to the Intensive Care Nurseries at DUKE and CHKD (the two hospitals that have taken such great care of Gwyneth for us). Over the past three years we've delivered over 125 gift bags full of clothes.

Gwyneth is now old enough to understand what we're doing, and we're looking forward to continuing this for many years to come. It's a lot of fun and a great way to teach our daughter that her special day doesn't have to be all about her. Collecting and delivering these gifts has truly become one of the highlights of our year.

We learned from our experience at Duke that every little detail for a family of a newborn preemie can be a huge mountain of stress, including (maybe, especially, considering how hard they are to find) finding preemie clothes. Finding clothes tiny enough to fit a 4lb baby can be very difficult.

Here is a blog comment from a mother who received one the gift bags a few years ago:

"I just wanted to say Thank You! I arrived at the duke NICU today and received our onesie and your letter!! My son keylan, was born 3 wks ago @ 24 wks and weighing 1 lb 8 oz. Your gift really touched my heart. With everything going on, I haven't even thought about clothes. At times I feel so alone, to know their are people that care is truly a blessing!! Christy"

We will be collecting preemie clothes and gift cards to Target and Babies R Us through January 15. If you would like to celebrate Gwyneth's 5th birthday with us in this way, here are three ways to do it:

1. Donate new or gently used preemie clothes to your nearest hospital Infant Care Nursery in honor of Gwyneth and/or any other preemie that has blessed your life.

2. Mail new or gently used preemie clothes to us. We'll deliver them for you to Duke and/or CHKD. (see mailing address and instructions below)

3. Mail or Email gift cards to us from either BabiesRUs or Target and we'll do the shopping for you. (see email and instructions below)

Thank you so much for considering joining us as we bless other preemie families in celebration of our daughter's birth and life!

Nate, Tricia & Gwyneth Rose

Mail to:
Nathan Lawrenson
PO Box ?
Durham, NC 27713

Email to reversegifting@hotmail.com

We have had the most success shopping for preemie clothes at BabiesRUs and Target. You can also find lots of preemie clothes at online retailers.

E-GiftCards can be purchased at BabiesRUs and Target websites and sent directly to the email address above.

Please, keep clothes unwrapped (as in, don't wrap them in wrapping paper). The hospital prefers for gifts to be unwrapped so there are no surprises...we'll make sure to put them in gift bags for you when we deliver them. Also, feel free to include a personal note to the preemie family(s) with your gift.

We'll be accepting donations through January 15. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment. Thanks!"


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