Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Excited to “Pay It Forward”

So I’m not sure what to say to express how excited I am about “Paying It Forward” with Pat & Ashley Sullenger and Ashley’s friend Chelsea, also with my Sister in Law Stacy. I really don’t know how to explain what I’m asking of you without sharing with you Ashley’s wonderful words. So I’m going to copy parts of a couple of her posts, then I’ll tell you my feelings and what I’m doing to help.

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Ashley Sullengers Postings..

I remember sitting in PCMC when we realized Preslee only had a few hours left on earth with us. I held her close wrapped in her little pink blanket, trying to memorize every perfect feature on her body. The pain was overwhelming, the fear of saying goodbye was too much to bare. I couldn't help but think of all the dreams I had for her, for us, and for our family. I felt them slipping away. Then my thoughts turned to the Elmo kitchen. I asked my dad to have someone take it away before we got home. I couldn't stand the thought of never giving it to her.
So Pat and I have been thinking, what do we do for Pres on her Birthday? How are we going to make it through the day? I want to do something that would mean something to her.
I feel one thing Preslee taught me was the power of serving others. So, I want to Pay It Forward.
Primary Children's Hospital will forever be close to our hearts. When I think back to that difficult time just a few months ago, many of you were there for us. From the hundreds of comments we received, we knew we had support. I've often wondered what it would have been like without all of you?
After talking with my friend
Chelsea who has also experienced life in the PICU with her little boy Kayden, we realized how we both want to give back. For Preslee's present, we want to put together a basket for parents in the PICU. Hopefully it will help them be able to stay by their child's side. So many families arrive due to an accident and don't have anything when they get there. Luckily we were surrounded by family who took care of our every need. But many families don't have that help. The fact that Preslee was never left alone was the most comforting gift we could have asked for. Family members took the night shifts and sent us to a hotel to get sleep. But many of the parents have to live at the hospital. If they're lucky they get a tiny room with one single bed. The last thing I would have wanted to do was drive to Walmart and leave Preslee's side.
Chelsea has been in contact with PCMC and there are 42 rooms in the PICU. Our goal is to have a basket for every single one of them. I think we can do it, but we're going to need help. A lot of help.

Me again..

Gabe never went to the PCMC but they did give us the option to take him there if we had wanted to. They told us that it was our choice but they had already called and talked to the specialist in the PICU at PCMC and really didn’t give us any more hope than we already had. We decided to stay where we could be in the comfort of all our family and friends for that difficult time since we knew he wouldn’t be coming home with us.

PCMC did save the life of my Nephew who was born just 3 months before Gabe. He was born with a rare syndrome called Mowat Wilson Syndrome. http://www.mowatwilson.org/  He spent his first Christmas in PCMC and they received so much help it was amazing. My sister in law is putting baskets together for the infants in the NICU. She has made this a tradition in her family every Christmas. She started last year for Clayton’s 1 year anniversary of being home.

I too have been thinking about how I’m going to make it through Christmas and Gabe’s Birthday coming up in January. I told David I wanted to help someone this year instead of receiving gifts for myself. Then I read Ashley’s post and decided I could help her & Stacy my sister in law collect things for the baskets they are putting together for PCMC for Christmas. For Christmas we can help so many families who are having a difficult Christmas. My sister in law told me she would’ve loved a basket like the one’s Ashley is putting together while she was at PCMC with Clayton. She spent 1 1/2 months in the NICU and 1 1/2 months in the PICU. She said sometimes other mothers would come and ask her if she had an extra dollar so they could get a snack to eat. These families miss work and spend so much money to be there with their children. I’m lucky to have so much family to be there and help us when Gabe was in the PICU and good friends too. But so many of these families have no one and just need some help. So Ashley is also setting up a link to donate on PayPal for families at PCMC. I’ll put that link up when she gets it going. So if you don’t want to give things to go in the baskets you can donate money.

Here is a list of the items that will be going in both baskets.

Ashley Again..

PCMC called Chelsea back and from the sound of it,they seem ecstatic about the project! Really the only "rule" they are asking is that all things be wrapped/sealed. Keep this in mind with food items. Be sure to get items in a personal size. You don't necessarily have to stick with these food items, but something not too sweet would be best. Talking with the Beckstrands, we both agreed we rarely ate, and when we did the last thing we wanted was something with sugar.
This is the list for one basket. We learned there are actually 44 rooms, so multiply the list by 44 and we'll have what we need. :)

1 Box of Granola Bars
2 Trail Mix (Personal Size)
2 Goldfish (Personal Size)
6 Fruit Leather (At Costco you can get a box with 48 individual leathers for under $10)
Breath mints/Gum
Small Eye Drops (Visine)
3 Pens & Journal
Fleece Blanket for the parents (47" x 57" OR 42" x 52"- Try and go for the bigger one :) )
2 Pairs of Socks (preferably with grips on the bottom)
2 Toothbrushes
Small lotion (non-scented if possible)
Playing cards
Disposable Camera

If you feel there is something else you could donate that we haven't thought of, feel free to send it.

We received a few comments about people making a basket where they live. We thought that was very sweet. Would you be willing to e-mail me before you donate it? Chelsea and I would love to send you a personal letter to place in the basket.

Me Again..

This is Stacy’s list for the NICU:

Pajama’s sizes Preemie to 6 months (They must be the ones with feet and snaps all the way up)
Diapers (Preemie to size 2)
Bum Medication (Desitin, Butt Paste, Balmex Etc.)
Baby Wash (Unscented)
Baby Lotion (Unscented)

Please email me at amishkasaville@gmail.com or leave a comment if you want to donate something, or have any questions. You can then bring it to me or send it to me at:

Amy Saville
251 E Griffith Rd.
Pocatello, ID  83201

On Preslee’s Birthday December 17th I will be taking everything for Ashley’s baskets to Madison Middle School  in  Rexburg where I can help Ashley and Chelsea put the baskets together (and meet Ashley in person). Then the things for Stacy’s baskets I’ll take to her in time to help her put them together and get them delivered before Christmas. I will also be taking at least one of each basket to Portnuef Medical Center around Christmas time. If I get a lot of help and participation I may take a few to Portneuf, but their PICU is not nearly as busy as PCMC so most of your donations will go there.

For Gabe’s Birthday I want to collect books for the children on the Pediatric floor at Portneuf Medical Center. Books that they can read while in the hospital and take home with them. Or books that their siblings can have while waiting those long hours for their brother or sister to get better. I will plan on delivering the books on Gabe’s Birthday January 26th. I’d like to start collecting any books you may want to donate soon so I can write a little note in them. Gabe loved books so this is something I can do for him for his Birthday.


  1. Dear Amy,
    I've been sitting here for awhile rereading all your old blog posts. What an amazing inspiration you are to soooooo many! Truly- you're unbelievable. I hope to someday become like you. I would love to help out with giving items for the baskets. What a great thing to do for families. I'll drop stop off soon. I love you.


  2. Very sweet. Good luck with your efforts!

  3. Amy your amazing! I look up to you so much!

  4. What a great project, Amy! Bless you for thinking of others at this time.