Wednesday, July 16, 2008

(Bump) In Lieu Of Gifts

I thought today would be a good day to bump this. I probably shouldn't be, but I AM amazed that people actually took me up on these alternative ideas. Thank you so much for your generosity to the CFF and pregnancy centers in Tricia and Gwyneth's honor!!!

I've received several emails and comments over the past few days and weeks asking us where we have registered for baby stuff. While we are incredibly humbled and appreciative of the generosity of total strangers, to be completely honest, we'd rather not post all of that info on the blog or give it out to too many people for two reasons:

1) We're scared if we did give it out to anyone who asked for it there wouldn't be anything left for any of our family and friends to get us. We've yet to have an actual baby shower, and I've heard from so many friends and family who are very excited about participating in one when we get home. Based on the generosity we've already received, I have no doubt that you crazy people (and, I say that fondly) would give us all we need and more, and that's not really what we want out of all of this. Again, as much as we genuinely appreciate the gifts we have received (and I'm sure will continue to receive), we would like to experience some normalcy in this area of our life and are looking forward to a real shower. :)

2) What we really want, as I've mentioned several times before, is to turn our blessing into ways that can bless others. If you are one of the people who really want to give a baby gift (and if not, that's totally cool because we've never expected anything out of this blogging experience), consider the following options in honor of Gwyneth and/or Tricia:

> Donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and help us find new drugs and treatments and possibly a cure that will benifit thousands of CFers across the world. I have nearly met my personal goal of $10,000 (almost entirely with your help!), and have decided to bump my goal up to $15,000 since I have until September 13 to accomplish it. Every penny makes a difference!

> Contact your local Crisis Pregnancy Center and/or hospital and inquire how you can donate some new, baby items. I can almost guarantee that they would more than welcome your donation and that they know of plenty of families who are in much greater need than we find ourselves in.

All of this is NOT to say if you have already sent us a gift that we don't greatly appreciate it...we DO! You have made our lives so much easier and more enjoyable now and in years to come.

We truly appreciate that some people who have already given to the CFF are now asking for ways to give in a more personal way...and, we can honestly say that there could be nothing more personal to us than if you would consider giving to others because of our story.




twin power mommy ♥ said...

Wow, i'm the first to leave a comment this time. That's never happened.
Guess i just wanted to say hello to you guys. Checking in to see if there were any new pictures posted. Thanks for sharing so much with us out here.

Our Two Blessings From Above said...

Beautiful picture!

careysue said...

You two are so wonderful, you responded exactly as I would of expected. Again, thank you for sharing your journey with the world.

Love from MI

Violet said...

that is such a wonderful thing to do, asking other to give to other in more need.

jamie said...

"you crazy people"..haha. Not exactly crazy Nate. Just for some strange reason, you've managed to get alot of folks actually come to be quite fond of you guys. It's hard to explain from this side of the computer screen, but over the last several months, your family has become really important to lots of folks out here.Which does sound crazy, I guess, since we've never met you guys in person. I totally understand what you mean about gifts. I think your alternatives are a great idea.
Hope you and your girls are having a fantastic weekend.
Hugs all around and
God Bless you all
Jamie in Texas

winecat said...

Done. You two are the most incredibly gracious people I have ever 'met".

Amy said...

You are an amazing family. I feel so previledged to be reading your story and watching the way God has used you. God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

I have already mentioned this on my blog, but I plan on walk in a Great Strides in honor of Tricia! I am a carrier of CF and your story has impacted me profoundly. Thankfully my husband is not a carrier, but your story has given me a glimpse into the life I might have led (from a parent stand point). I think CF will forever be on my radar now.
Thank you for sharing and allowing God to use you!!
(my comments are beginning to sound the same every time! lol)

friendlyfaces said...

As the mother of 4 who are now finished with college, I was amazed at the cost of education! We are still paying college loans! Have you thought of starting a college fund for baby? Knowing that people want to give her a gift, this might be a very tangable way to say her college is paid for!!

Julie said...

You are so supportive of others, very considerate.
Always wonderful pictures too!
Enjoy your weekend.
Hugs and God Bless you...

Becky said...

God really does multiply blessings. It's just a wonderful circle with you! You bless us by letting us have a glimpse into your life and faith; God blesses you with the answered prayers for your wonderful girls; we want to bless you with our time, prayers, and gifts; you turn that into an outward blessing for so many other goes on and on. You have touched so many lives! Thank you, Nate. Just....thank you.

Andie said...

Nate and Tricia, you are so generous, loving, and giving. I hope you'll love the sling I have made for you. I went to mail it today but missed the post office by less than 5 minutes, I guess it will wait till Monday.
Blessings to you all-

Anonymous said...

What a selfless idea to suggest us to donate gifts to others in need! I love it! You could always still have a baby shower than then donate the items to a local women's shelter. My friend did that in lieu of having a baby shower. I am sure their are so many needy moms out there that do not have the benefit of a supportive group of friends and family like you do. I applaud your efforts! And, are you still collecting donations for Tricia's trust fund or is that closed now that the transplant is completed?

TheRagan3 said...

Our family has decided that, this summer when I have more time to get my act together, we will make a donation of preemie clothes to the local NICU in Gwyneth's honor. We have done this before, on my boys 1st birthday and the nurses were so appreciative of the new stuff for the babies.

Thank you for your selflessness in asking us crazy people :) to "pay it forward". I love doing this and seeing people reactions. There aren't enough people in our world who think about others first.

We are just blown away to be participants in your story. You bless me every time I check in.
Love to you from MD

Anonymous said...

I meant to add that I just love that picture of you , Tricia and the baby! Just beautiful!! But, I thought Tricia didn't have to wear a mask any longer around Gwyneth? Did that change?

mom nana nelson said...


3-D Browns said...

Another idea for donations is the March of Dimes that help families with Preemies.

Andy Lawrenson said...

Look Nate, babies don't need showers. They make these cool little tiny bathtubs you can put in the kitchen sink, it works much better than the shower.

kimm said...

While my family is in no position to be able to donate in a monetary way I will be donating several ounces of breast milk to our state's milk bank on a weekly basis once my little man comes sometime over the next week or two. It is something that I have always been extremely interested in but following your story has given me the push in the right direction that I needed!

Unknown said...

Gwenyth is so big now and the family photo is just beautiful. All the best!
Stacy :-)

Blessings From Above said...

Humble as always. Both are excellent options and I'll definitely contribute in one of those ways.

Hugs from Ohio

Elizabeth said...

Never thought of that option, so I will go that route with a baby gift. Not sure which one yet, I will let you know as soon as I figure it out. Thanks for the info. Blessings,

marcia said...

What a great idea to suggest that people donate baby things to their local crisis pregnancy center! And the idea of donating preemie clothes to a local NICU!

Jane said...

Love your ideas...I have started donating burp cloths and bibs to our church nursery in honor of new babies at our church (we have a large church with 6 nurseries for children under 2).

I think I will also take your idea for the crisis pregnancy center.... great idea!

The CF foundation is great too!

justdawn said...

I spent the day, Friday, reading your entire story...and all I can say is WOW!!! Your story is simply awesome!

I think it's great that in lieu of gifts, you would rather have people pay it forward on your behalf. I used to volunteer at a Crisis Pregnancy Center and there was always a need...especially formula and diapers.

I look forward to "seeing" Gwyneth being released from the hospital and hearing that you and your precious family are finally headed home!

Scott said...

Nate, that was really big of you! Instead of attempting to personally profit from your situation you are wanting to bless others! The Lord has allowed you in this situation for a reason and you are a great blessing to me and millions of others!

Shannon said...

it is so wonderful to see the three of you together. Thanks for raising awareness for CF.

Shannon said...

Thanks also for making people aware of the local Crisis Pregnancy Centers. My mom helped start one in our town years ago, and they always welcome new (or slightly used donations) of clothing and furniture, as well as diapers and formula.

Anonymous said...

This a a wonderful and gracious way to guys continue to be such an inspiration!!
I am the Development Director for a crisis pregnancy center in Danville, Va and the fact that you remembered pregnancy centers is very much appreciated. I can tell you that ALL crisis pregnancy centers are always in need for baby items/donations.
You all have been such a blessing to get to know thru your blog and I pray continued blessings over you and your family.
Love and prayers,
PS: this is my first ever comment but I have continually kept up with your story and remembered you all in prayer:)

Anonymous said...

Those both are great ideas. Several folks had wonderful ideas in the comment section. I have one more thought for the others.

I used to be involved with a little organization called "Newborns In Need." If you google it, you can find their address. They are all around the United States and accept all sorts of donations so they can take them to their local NICU's for families that need thing (like preemie clothes, preemie hats, pacifiers, diapers, etc.).

The other thing that might be a factor for others is that since you guys have a beautiful Pug named Meka, they could consider donating things or money to a Pug Rescue or other animal rescue.

OR Duke Research
OR Tricia's Trustfund
OR I particularly liked the college fund idea for Gwyneth too
OR CFF/Great Strides like you mentioned
OR Crisis Centers, Homeless Shelters, um ... here's another one.

How about sponsoring one local "senior" every year in honor of Gwyneth & Tricia? You know make it like a "scholarship" type thing. Contact the local high school and have them include it in their scholarship information. I got one of these type scholarships when I was in high school and it wasn't a lot of money, but I knew the person that was being "honored" (and in this case she was being remembered). Just receiving the scholarship meant more to me than receiving the money (it was 150 dollars from the parents of this young lady and 150 from the school that matched the scholarship). The parents had everyone that was interested write an "essay" (or "letter") saying how this little bit of money would help and tell a little bit about yourself. Then they chose out of all the essay one person to receive the scholarship. Just one more idea. :o) It could be a one time thing or a more than one time thing. You guys could put the restrictions on whatever your wanted the qualifications to be. (You guys meaning the readers).

BUT .. CFF is the most important thing to Tricia .. so if you had to choose between all the things for Tricia .. CFF would be the one right up there. :) I plan on donating to both the trust fund and CFF. I just haven't done it yet. I also want to walk in the OBX Great Strides. :)

BS said...

This year, I gave a "little bit more" to the March of Dimes than I normally would have - the extra being in honor of Gywneth.

Em said...

"You crazy people"...I guess I fit that description. You all are so wonderful to share your awesome story with the world. I know it's easy for all of us out in "cyberspace" to feel like we truly know you! I share your story with pretty much everyone I meet!! You all do deserve some semblance of normalcy, though, and I understand why you might not be keen to receive gifts from people you don't even know. But you should know that you feel like friends to so many of us out here.

I hope you enjoy your baby shower. :) Oh and I second friendlyfaces idea!!

Anonymous said...

Another idea would be to donate quilts or blankets to the NICU for the little ones, if you can sew or crochet or knit. We received probably 8 blankets and quilts for Emma and Sam while they were in the NICU and we are so grateful for them.

Mary said...

We have a crisis pregnancy center right here in our area that many of our church members volunteer at. I think I'll go buy some diapers and donate them. You can never have too many diapers! Thanks for the great idea.


Kira said...

Long time reader first time commenter. I love reading your blogs because they are so full of hope and love and always bring a smile to my face. Sending heaps of Hugs and prayer, Kira

Jarboetwingles said...

As a mom to 3 preemies we have participated in Walk America (now March for Babies) for almost 10 years. This year we are walking for Gwenyth!
I have managed to get 2 other women at my church hooked on your blog and we have formed a CFF walk team in honor of Tricia! Our local walk isn't until September so we have lots of time to meet our goal! Thanks for letting us come along side your sweet family and minister to you!

Joy said...

I volunteered at Birthright, a crisis pregnancy center, and I have to back you up on supporting them! They desperately need funds and baby items/clothing to keep their operations going. They are non-profit. Not one single person makes a dime there! So donations are how they operate.

All that to say... awesome! You guys are so incredibly humble!!!

Rebekah said...

Thanks for the suggestions! Next month I'm going to visit the hospital where my son was born (we adopted him), and you gave me the idea of taking something for the NICU (he was in there for a few days).

I checked out the hospital website, and one of the things they ask for is books. That is perfect for an English teacher with at least three bookshelves crammed full of children's books.

Thank you for the wonderful suggestion!