A safe ride home: Car seats donated to hospital – Salisbury Post


Safely home: car seats donated to hospital

Published at 12:05 AM on Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Thanks to the joint efforts of the Kiwanis Club of Salisbury and Smart Start Rowan, five newborns can travel home safely from the hospital in a new car seat.

Janet Haynes, president of the Kiwanis Club, said their club has raised money for the car seats through their annual Pancake Festival, which typically raises more than $30,000.

“We fund a lot of organizations, a lot of events, that mainly have to do with children,” she said, and the money is used “to provide things like car seats through Smart Start for children and parents who don’t have the financial resources to afford a car seat.” to buy a car. seat for their newborn.”

The money donated by Kiwanis was then matched by another organization and given to Smart Start Rowan, which does the actual purchasing and delivery of the car seats to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.

On May 30, five car seats were delivered and presented to staff in the hospital’s labor and delivery department, where they will be available to present to families in need of a car seat.

Megan Fox, a nurse and team leader, said that from that day on, there was no discussion about these specific car seats, “so they go into our closet and because we have family members coming in who are not able to care or if the baby goes to a foster home or somewhere otherwise unexpectedly, or perhaps to grandma’s, then we will take care of it.”

Being able to deliver these new car seats to families who need them was meaningful to Haynes and Erik Lipscomb, president-elect of the Kiwanis Club, and Denise Heinke, director of outreach and development at Smart Start Rowan, who were all in attendance to present the car seats to the staff.

“I’m very proud to be part of Kiwanis and to be able to finance things like car seats,” said Haynes. And it took on even more special meaning after she heard about two small children who were in a wreck and didn’t have car seats because the family couldn’t afford them, she said.

Offering these seats is “super special,” Lipscomb said. “I think it’s kind of neat to offer what a child needs from day one. That’s not the opportunity many people or organizations get to impact a child’s life on day one, two and three. So that’s pretty special for me.”

Because Heinke, who says she has made four to five trips with car seats to Novant in her almost two years at Smart Start Rowan, was the most she brought with her.

“This is amazing,” she said.

Remembering the time when she was a new mother, she thought about all the preparations that had to be made, and she said: There are those who don’t have money for a car seat or who walk around in a hurry, they completely forget about it to get one and then ask them if they need to rush to get one to bring their baby home. So that the hospital “could have that closet of car seats that they don’t want the parents to worry about, and they don’t want them to worry about,” Heinke said, and they would say, “No. , we got you.”

Receiving the car seats “has been amazing,” Fox said, saying there are times when they receive a few and within weeks they are gone and need more. And then, she said, there are times when months might pass.

“It’s wonderful to have them, but it’s very heartwarming to know that we can provide that for them, but it’s also hard to know that there are people who have to go without,” Fox said.

Car seats are made available to the hospital at least once a year; But if that need does arise and Fox calls asking if they can get more, Heinke said she will contact the Kiwanis Club, “and they say, ‘We’ve got you, we’ll take care of it,'” and they’ve heard given to the call “every time they go above and beyond,” she said.

Working together and supporting each other is “just joining hands and we make it work and we make it happen, and I’m very grateful for this program,” Heinke said. “It’s one of my favorites to come in and do.”

And the families are also grateful to have received the car seats. Heinke said they have told the staff how much they appreciate it.

As a community service-oriented club with a mission to improve the world, one community and one child at a time, Haynes said this particular project is “definitely a priority on our list as it pertains to a club.”

And, Heinke said, they have a great relationship with the Kiwanis and she too said, “I think this is the relationship that will always last. It is very meaningful.”

“To be able to know that these kids are leaving the hospital with a device that we know is new, it’s safe, it really means a lot,” said Haynes