Inside the NICU

NICU events … and how you can help

We run a lot of events in our NICU. Some are about learning, some are about fun, and all are about connecting. We often get people asking how they can help, so we thought we should post our calendar of family events here so everyone can see what we do, and everyone can see what kind of help is needed. We welcome your suggestions and support!

bib

A Halloween costume made at a craft event
with a donated bib, donated craft materials, a donated hat,

and a lot of ingenuity!

First, here’s how you can help.  One of the best ways you can support the NICU is by donating via the Sunnybrook Foundation, who offer us just wonderful support.  If you would like to contribute to a fund that goes toward our parent programs (including our new parent snack program), you can donate directly to the Khalil Keshavjee Memorial Fund. If you’re interested in supporting a particular event, run your eyes down the list and look for items in italics next to event names. Please let us know three or four weeks before the event if you can help so we can factor your support into our plans. You can email the NICU Parent Coordinator, Kate Robson, with any questions or ideas.

If you have gently used clothes or toys, we are working with a wonderful new charity called the New Mom Project. We refer many families to them, and they have storage and systems to accommodate all the donations.

If you would like to help with our Welcome Bag project, which is supported by the Graydon Miller Fund, and was the brilliant idea of one of our graduate mothers (thanks, Amanda!), we welcome either monetary donations or donations of the following: story books, small stuffed animals, blank journals, stress balls, reusable water bottles, and soft flannelette (for making hug blankets). We also would love donations of small ink pads that we use to make foot and hand print mementoes for families. We use a special kind of ink pad called My First Colour Box because it’s safe for babies.

Now, here’s our calendar. We’ve put absolutely everything in here, so it’s LONG. And we might change it when we get new and great ideas about things to do (maybe some from you!)  But this is a good start, right?

And last but not least … thank you! There is so much kindness and generosity in this community it is honestly overwhelming. You help make things better for NICU families and babies … you really do.

 

NICU Calendar of Events: 2014/2015

October

  • Monday, October 6: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm) We gratefully accept donations of cookies or other treats for our Education Sessions
  • Friday, October 10: Thanksgiving Celebration (5pm-8pm) We gratefully accept donations of either money or food for our major celebrations
  • Thursday, October 16: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm) We gratefully accept donations of coffee, coffee filters and healthy treats for all of our Morning Coffee sessions
  • Monday, October 20: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, October 23: Morning Coffee: Halloween Crafts  (10am-12pm) We gratefully accept donations of craft materials like scrapbooking paper, stickers, scrapbook letters, felt, fleece and tulle. We also accept donations of baby hats to be used in costumes.
  • Saturday, October 25: Bollywood Party (2pm-4pm)
  • Monday, October 27: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Friday, October 31: Halloween Party (1pm-3pm). We gratefully accept donations of nut-free treats

November (World Prematurity Month)

  • Monday, November 3: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, November 6: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, November 10: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Sunday, November 16:  Family Café (2pm-4pm) We gratefully accept donations of nut-free treats.
  • Monday, November 17: World Prematurity Day – Special Milk & Cookies Edition (1pm-3pm)
  • Monday, November 24: Dr. Saroj Saigal book party (evening). At Estates of Sunnybrook.

December

  • Monday, December 1: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, December 4: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, December 8: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-2pm)
  • Sunday, December 14: Santa Day (12pm-4pm) We gratefully accept donations of any of the following: holiday stockings, small stuffed animals, small bottles of hand lotion, children’s story books, very small stocking stuffer toys, holiday ornaments, treats for our holiday party
  • Monday, December 15: “Milk & Cookies” Cookie Fiesta (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25: Gift distribution. We gratefully accept donations of gifts (preferably toys or books) for both babies and older siblings

January

  • Thursday, January 1: New Year’s Day Cake & Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, January 5: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, January 8: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Sunday, January 11: Family Café (2pm-4pm
  • Monday, January 12: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, January 15: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, January 19: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, January 22: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, January 26: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)

February

  • Monday, February 2: “Milk & Cookies” Groundhog Day Edition (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, February 5: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, February 9: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, February 12: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Saturday, February 14: Kangaroo-a-thon Kick Off (5pm-8pm) We gratefully accept donations of money or food for this special event, and also Valentine craft materials.
  • Saturday, February 21: Mom to Mom lunch (12pm-2pm) We gratefully accept donations of pancake mixes, maple syrup, disposable plates and cutlery for this celebration.
  • Monday, February 23: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, February 26: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)

March

  • Monday, March 2: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Monday, March 9: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, March 12: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, March 15: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Friday, March 20: First Day of Spring Celebration (1pm-3pm)
  • Monday, March 23: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, March 26: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, March 30: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)

April

  • Thursday, April 2: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, April 6: Egg Hunt (1pm-3pm) We gratefully accept donations of treats for this celebration.
  • Saturday, April 11: Last Day of Passover (12pm-2pm)
  • Monday, April 13: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, April 16: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, April 20: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, April 23: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Sunday, April 26: Staff Appreciation Day. We gratefully accept donations of food items and treats from our NICU graduate family community for this celebration. A wonderful way to say thanks!

May

  • Monday, May 4: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, May 7: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Sunday, May 10: Mother’s Day (gifts distributed) We gratefully accept gift items for our NICU mothers (such as jewelry, journals or scarves)
  • Monday, May 11: Special Mother’s Day “Milk & Cookies” Session
  • Friday, May 15: International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day. We gratefully accept the donation of plain white onesies that we can decorate for this event
  • Monday, May 18: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, May 21: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, May 25: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, May 28: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)

June

  • Monday, June 1: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Sunday, June 7: Preemie Picnic (11am-3pm) This is our biggest event. We accept all kinds of donations: story books to give to families, food items, support for entertainers, volunteers … let us know if/how you can help!
  • Monday, June 8:  “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, June 11: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, June 15: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, June 18: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Sunday, June 21: Father’s Day (gifts distributed). We gratefully accept donations of gift items for our NICU fathers for this event, as well as treats or food items.
  • Monday, June 22: Father’s Day celebration (time TBD)

July 

  • Wednesday, July 1: Canada Day celebration (1pm-3pm) We gratefully accept related craft materials and treats for this celebration.
  • Monday, July 6:  “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Friday, July 10: Morning Coffee: PanAm games edition (10am-12pm) We gratefully accept related craft materials and treats for this celebration.
  • Monday, July 13: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, July 16: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Saturday, July 19: Saturday Shakes (2pm-4pm)
  • Monday, July 21: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, July 24: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, July 28: “Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)

August

  • Thursday, August 6: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Sunday, August 9: Ice Cream Sunday (1pm-3pm) We gratefully accept donations of ice cream and sundae items for this event
  • Monday, August 10: Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, August 13: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, August 17: Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, August 20: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Monday, August 24: Milk & Cookies” Education Session (1pm-3pm)
  • Thursday, August 27: Morning Coffee (10am-12pm)
  • Saturday, August 29: Saturday Shakes (2pm-4pm)

About the author

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Kate Robson