JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One local mom is giving back to mothers with babies in the NICU this Thanksgiving.
“It’s a place that’s terrifying. You are unsure of all the medical terms. There are tubes. There are alarms. There are beeps at every corner. There’s no silence whatsoever,” said Beth Toenies, founder of NICU Mama Bags.
After a healthy pregnancy, Beth Toenies remembering the time where she spent 79 days in the NICU with her son Isaac last year.
“It’s a very traumatic time being in the NICU, period. You thought your world was going one way. You have a lot of expectations, and then you realize the world has kind of dropped forward and life isn’t going to be the same as you thought,” said Toenies.
Toenies and other NICU moms and supporters have come together to help moms facing that same reality.
The group is making care packages called NICU Mama Bags to hand out for Thanksgiving.
A few items in the bags will be a children’s book, $5 Starbucks gift card, travel-size toiletries and a journal.
So far, over 30 people from across the county have helped with donations.
Toenies was given care packages during her time in the NICU and said these items can go a long way for mothers in a similar situation.
“We’ve been there, this group of other NICU mamas that are surrounding them. And we’ve got them in our thoughts and prayers. To give them a little bit of a smile, something to brighten their day,” said Toenies.
The group will stuff the bags from 2-4 p.m. this Saturday at Southeast Regional Library on Deerwood Park Boulevard.
The group is accepting monetary donations and items for the bags like tissues, hair ties, wet wipes, children’s books, journals, pens, and other care package items.
If you have questions or want to help, email Beth Toenies at firstname.lastname@example.org.