Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Survival Mode Parent

Survival Mode Parent


So it's officially September 1, and I'm so excited to reveal the big surprise I've been waiting to reveal!

It started back in August 2004. (You were hoping for a story, right?) Jack's college roommate, Ryan, and his wife, Wendy had their first beautiful baby boy, Colin.

Colin was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and lived his entire 8 months of life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Through their website updates, I got my first glimpse of what parents' lives look like when they have a very sick child. It's a roller coaster.

And even though I was all the way across the country, I wished I could do something. To bring them a meal. Something.

How could I have helped?

My second big glimpse into the world of NICU and PICU was one most of us in the blog world are familiar with: MckMama's account of Stellan's battle with SVT. She was in the hospital with Stellan both in Minnesota and Boston on the same roller coaster Ryan and Wendy had been on, and we all asked the same thing:

How can we help?

While in the hospital, Jennifer wrote this blog entry about being in what she called "survival mode," and that's when I almost understood what it was like. You try to remember to eat. You try to sleep (but probably can't). You may or may not be wearing clean clothes. You're just trying to get your child well.

Nothing else matters.

Then, when she mentioned a stranger in Boston washing her laundry for her and taking her to Old Navy to buy a few more shirts, it clicked for me.

I could do that.

I couldn't do it for Jennifer, and fortunately she didn't need the help, since so many had that on their minds, but I can do it for someone else.

Why don't I do that for someone else?

This world of blogging has given us the opportunity to support each other in so many ways. There's prayer, words of encouragement, and financial gifts, but the list pretty much ends there.

Rarely do we have the opportunity to physically do what we would do for a friend in the hospital - bring a meal, do their laundry, let their dog out... just meet their basic needs while they're in survival mode.

This is mostly because a lot of the people whose blogs we read live in other parts of the country, and we can't actually do anything for them.

I'm hoping to change that.

I created a website called Survival Mode Parent. The premise of this website is simple: match people who can help with simple basic needs (like laundry or meals) with parents who have kids in the NICU or PICU and need help.

My goal is to get volunteers from all over the country to sign up to help someone in need. Basically, when you sign up, you're simply "on call" in case there's a request in your city.

On the other end, parents in with kids in the NICU or PICU can request to be matched with a volunteer, and if somebody has signed up from their city, I can match them up and the relationship between the parent and the volunteer can begin from there.

How can you help?

I'm glad you asked! I need an enormous amount of help for this project.

Since Survival Mode Parent is so reliant on volunteers from all over the country, I need you first and most importantly, to sign up to be a volunteer. I realize that if you get matched, there's a time commitment. I realize you may even have to buy a little extra laundry detergent, gas, or food for this person. And so I realize it's a sacrifice. But I hope you do it anyway.

The other thing I desperately need for this project to work is for you to spread the word. Tell your friends. Blog about it. Put the button on your sidebar. Tweet. Facebook. Text. Anything and everything to get the word out to build that database of volunteeers from all over the country, ready to help a parent in need.

My greatest fear for this project is to have to tell a parent who needs help "sorry, but there's nobody signed up in your area."

So that's it! That's the project! I hope you're as excited about it as I am. Please take a look around the website and e-mail me with any questions or comments you have about it.

--

You didn't think I'd do a super-exciting announcement and website launch without a giveaway, did you?

No way! Not me!

If you're new here, you should know that I design blogs. And to celebrate the launch of Survival Mode Parent and get the word out about it, I am doing a super-ginormous-ridiculous blog makeover giveaway.

Actually, I'm giving away more than one.

Are you excited yet?

Here's the deal:

Blog makeover giveaway #1:

This one is for spreading the word about Survival Mode Parent. I'll be giving away a full blog makeover with any add-ons you want - blog button, signature, you name it.

You get one entry every time you:
Be sure to leave a comment here for every entry. I'll have random.org choose a winner on September 30. Thanks for spreading the word!

--

Blog makeover giveaway #2:

Next, I'm giving away the biggest blog makeover package I've ever given away. I'm very excited about this one!

If you sign up to be a Survival Mode Parent volunteer, I'll enter you for a chance to win not one, not two, not three, but FOUR blog makeovers, one for every season!

I love having a new design for every season, but if you don't have the time or know-how to design a new one for Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer, try for a chance to win all of them!

I'll have random.org choose a winner from all the volunteers in the database on September 30.

--

I can't thank you enough for your support!

Oh yes, and special thank you to my dear sweet wonderful friend Ellyn wrote about her experiences in the NICU with her kids and wrote about Survival Mode Parent today. She has a powerful story. Please go read it!!

141 comments:

Katrina T said...

<span style="color: #808080;">Mandy!  What a beautiful idea.  i've been reading Three Cheers for Babies and wondered how I could help.  This is a great idea to help all of the families in the world who have babies in the NICU.  Thank you for being so kind hearted and fod having such a wonderful idea!  I can't wait to help!  I'll definitely be spreading the word -- you know I have friends all over the US!!  </span>

Mallory said...

Mandy, that's amazing.  Seriously.  AMAZING.  You're absolutely awesome for coming up with something like this.

Too bad I already won one of your beautiful blog designs - I have no reason to help with this.  JUST KIDDING! ;)   Of course I will still spread the word about this genius, beautiful project.

Ashley said...

Love this Mandy!!

I signed up!

Jessica said...

Mandy...this is really, truly AMAZING. What a great, inspired idea. I will definitely spread the word--and when my life is in one place, I would love to volunteer. 
Thanks for doing this, and please keep letting us know what we can do to help!!!!

Ashley said...

I tweeted!

Ashley said...

I became a facebook fan!

Ashley said...

I put the button on my page!

Ashley said...

I announced the website in my facebook status!

Ashley said...

I shared the link on facebook!

Ashley said...

I became a public follower!

Ashley said...

I became a public follower!

Buckles Family said...

I tweeted about this site!  Love it!

Buckles Family said...

I shared a link on facebook as well

Buckles Family said...

I also posted the button on my blog. 

Buckles Family said...

I also posted the button on my blog. 

Megan said...

You had me a volunteer!! I will atest to the fact that you do WONDERFUL blog makeovers!!!  I am in!!

Megan said...

Oh, just had this idea... Maybe add a place to put your zip code, then you would be able to google the nearby areas easier than just the city name.

Mandy said...

Thanks! I'll put that in!

julialadewski said...

do you totally rock or what???  what an awesome idea!  i'm trying to sign up to be a volunteer, but when i put my mouse over the "how to help" i can't get to the volunteer sign up page.  i don't know why. 

ok, also, PLEASE let me know if there's anything i can do "behind the scenes" that you might need help with let me know!!!  I volunteered in our NICU here rocking babies and the amount of time that parents spend in the hospital is unbelievable!!  i would love to help.

Ok, i'll try again later to sign up. I'll put the button on my blog too and blog about it tomorrow.  email me if you want some help with matching people up, etc etc.  i would LOVE to help.

Mandy said...

Fixed it! Thanks, Julia. You can also find the link here.
http://www.survivalmodeparent.org/2009/08/become-survival-mode-parent-volunteer.html

The Lazy Philosopher said...

I'm a public follower!

The Lazy Philosopher said...

And I added a button to my blog!

The Lazy Philosopher said...

And I told my mother/sister!

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

I tweeted!

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

I became a fan on FB!

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

I am now a follower!

Chelsi said...

and I tweeted:http://twitter.com/clmcfadden/status/3695076346

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

I shared the link on FB!

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

Adding the button to my blog!

Chelsi said...

I just figured out that I needed to log into google frined connect, should I add my comments again? 

I also volunteered.

Chelsi said...

I am a fan on facebook

Chelsi said...

I am now a follower

Chelsi said...

I shared the link to the website on facebook

Chelsi said...

I added your button to my sidebar

Chelsi said...

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/clmcfadden/status/3695076346

cinidi said...

just blogged this great project

cinidi said...

just tweeted... "tweet, tweet"

cinidi said...

just promoted your site on face book

cinidi said...

i'm now one of your fans on Facebook....AND I'm also an AWANA leader!

cinidi said...

now following you publically

Mandy said...

YAAY! AWANA! I love Awana!!

cindi said...

all those "cinidi"'s that's me...geez i don't even know how to spell my own name :-[   just added your button to my blog

cindi said...

just told starla about your site

cindi said...

just told my mom bout your site

cindi said...

just told michelle bout your site

cindi said...

just told melodee about your site.

cindi said...

just told gara about your site

cindi said...

just told pam about your site

Jamie H said...

I became a follower!

Jamie H said...

I became a facebook fan!

Jamie H said...

I shared the site on facebook!

Jamie H said...

I put the button on my blog!

Sarah Marshall said...

I became a facebook fan!

Sarah Marshall said...

I added your blog button to my blog

Sarah Marshall said...

http://stayworkplay.blogspot.com/2009/09/survival-mode-parent.html

I blogged.

Sarah Marshall said...

I put it in my facebook status.

Mandy said...

Thank you for sharing that story, Sarah!!!

sarah said...

I became a fan on facebook.

sarah said...

I twitted about it.

@sarahmhalstead

sarah said...

I wrote it in my facebook status.

sarah said...

I blogged about it

www.sarahhalstead.blogspot.com

sarah said...

I put it on my sidebar

www.sarahhalstead.blogspot.com

sarah said...

I shared the link on facebook.

sarah said...

I became a public follower

sarah said...

I told my good friend wendi about it via email.

Kristin said...

I became a fan on Facebook.  What a great idea!  I love volunteering but usually do so with animals.  I have found that being a single mom, it is difficult to do, but I could do laundry and feed animals.  I volunteered at a Church Shelter in Galveston when Rita and Katrina hit and "adopted" this little old lady, I would take her clothes home and wash them and I would also pick her up candy and go to the local Goodwill or second hand shop and find other clothes for her.  Kudos to you...oh yeah - Gig 'em!

Kristin said...

I also shared the link on my facebook page!  This is awesome!

Kristin said...

I also added the button on my blog!  I so would like a blog makeover...or at least some helpful hints!

Michelle said...

I emailed 24 of my friends! Do I have to tell you that 24 times?

Michelle said...

I became a fan!

Michelle said...

I shared a link on facebook!

Michelle said...

I added the button to my blog!

Christine said...

I can't figure out how to sign in???

I became a fan on FB.  :)   Gladly!

Christine...from www.journeywiththelord.blogspot.com

Christine said...

I shared the link on FB.  :)

Mandy said...

Where are you trying to sign in? Are you trying to sign up? The link is at
http://survivalmodeparent.blogspot.com/2009/08/become-survival-mode-parent-volunteer.html

Christine said...

I posted to my blog and linked back to yours!

Christine said...

I figured it out!  Thanks!  Awesome thing you're doing.  I have a friend who spent a lot of time in the PICU with two of her children.  Both of them died.  It was a very difficult time and she now tries to continue to help families through this trying time.  So, very cool!

Christine said...

I posted this in my status on FB.  I'm having fun! 

Christine said...

I am now a public follower.

Christine said...

I put your button on my blog.

Sarah Marshall said...

I told Krista and she became a fan on facebook.

won said...

Blogged. As a parent who spent so much time in the hospital with my late daughter, the need is great. I commend you for taking on this project. 

Off to spread the word in different mediums. 

won said...

Facebook Fan!

won said...

Following the site, in honor of the late Olivia Grace Thompson.

won said...

Facebook status updated.

won said...

Shared the link of FB. 

Mandy said...

I know I'm not supposed to play favorites, but I just read your story and I
really want you to win one of the blog makeovers. Best of luck.

aubrey said...

I put the button on my blog. Love this idea. We have our own NICU experience, this is very meaningful to us. Thanks!

aubrey said...

I tweeted about it.

Brynn said...

I became a fan on facebook

Brynn said...

I added a button on my blog

Brynn said...

I shared link of facebook

aubrey said...

I became a fan of on facebook.

aubrey said...

I shared a link on facebook.

Sarah Marshall said...

I told my mom, Cindy. She also joined you on Facebook.

won said...

Thanks Mandy. I certainly want to win too. This month is National Children's Cancer Awareness Month (it's the leading cause of death to children by disease). I hope to win to not get the design for four seasons, but for three seasons and one to put up each of the following Septembers (obviously too late for this year) in honor of the Awareness month. 

aubrey said...

Just became a volunteer!

julialadewski said...

i blogged about it!!

http://sweetaspunkinpie.blogspot.com/

julialadewski said...

i tweeted!!

wwww.twitter.com/julialadewski

julialadewski said...

i follow survival mode parent blog

Sarah Marshall said...

Like 16 of my relatives are now facebook fans cause I said this was important to me! I should get 16 entries!

Kandis Albertson said...

I added the button to my blog!!

http://albertson-family.blogspot.com/

Kandis Albertson said...

I twitted about the the website!!

Kandis Albertson said...

I became a fan on Facebook!!

Kandis Albertson said...

I posted the link on my Facebook page!!

Kandis Albertson said...

I am a public follower of the site!!

Kandis Albertson said...

I did a facebook status update with the website!!

Guest said...

Hi, Mandy, I blogged about it and announced it on Facebook. I'll add the linke before Sept. 30th.
What a blessing this will be to many parents.
Blessings,
Linda<><
www.homeschooling6.com

Guest said...

Oh, almost forgot I'll become a fan on facebook. Tried to yesterday but don't know what happened will try again.

Guest said...

Sorry, that was me above who said I will try again on facebook. Guess, I shouldn't always be in such a rush. We are leaving for a two week vacation so I'm in 'rush' mode.
Linda<><
www.homeschooling6.com

Mandy said...

Yay! Vacation! Where are you going?

Tiffany said...

I live in the middle of no where, so it will do me no good to sign up, but I will do my part by posting a link on my blog and sending an email to my entire contact list.

Wonderful idea - I'm sure you'll be receiving many thanks in the near future!

Michelle said...

Now a Facebook Fan

Michelle said...

Tweeted on Twitter too!

Michelle said...

Put the button on my sidebar as well!

Michelle said...

Linked it on FB too!

whittybrooke said...

I volunteered!!

whittybrooke said...

I posted on twitter!

whittybrooke said...

I became a fan on facebook!

whittybrooke said...

I became a public follower of the blog!

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

I tweet again. :-D

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

I shared my story on my blog & facebook!

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

I volunteered! (Gosh, I 've been busy!)

Sam Baker said...

I am a public follower!

Sam Baker said...

I am a fan on Facebook!

Sam Baker said...

I tweeted!

Sam Baker said...

Its in my facebook status!

Sam Baker said...

I have told 4 families in the PICU at Georgetown University Hospital Center

Thena said...

I just went through all the comments and I havent left any. lol Been so busy trying to figure out how to put a button on my blog.

Thena said...

I follow both of your websites.

Thena said...

Im a fan on facebook

Thena said...

I have signed up as a volunteer.

Thena said...

I follow you on twitter.

Thena said...

I have tweeted about it at least twice.

Sarah Halstead said...

I just tweeted about it again here.

http://twitter.com/sarahmhalstead/status/4470556394

Sarah Halstead said...

I just posted it on my facebook saying there were only 2 days left to enter. Thanks! :)

ma21cuteboy said...

Blogged about my story wishing that this was around when I had my son!
chacoyaguayo@yahoo.com

ma21cuteboy said...

Follower

ma21cuteboy said...

I also put the button on my blog
ma21cuteboy.blogspot.com

ma21cuteboy said...

Subscribed

aggieonboard said...

I became a fan on facebook.