November 2021 – Preemie Support

Organization: Maximizing Hope
Founders: Alicia Pielow Krol and Angela Preston
Founded: 2021

Maximizing Hope is focused on bringing comfort and support to patients and families going through the NICU experience. We focus specifically on families with expected extended stays in the NICU but have programs that can help anyone coming through the NICU, whether for a day or months.

Co-founders, Alicia Pielow Krol and Angela Preston, each had personal experience with preemies. Alicia’s son, Max, was born at 27 weeks and spent 71 days in the NICU. He is now a happy, healthy 8 year old. Angela’s daughter, Hope, was born at 25 weeks and spent 2 weeks in the NICU before passing away in 2019. As cousins, Alicia and Angela were able to support each other through their experiences and were led to give back to others having the same experience.

NICU Hope Baskets are care packages that are distributed to families with expected stays in the NICU of 2 weeks or greater. Each care package includes a blanket, lotion, Chapstick, journal, board book, masks and SOFT tissues. This is an annual initiative that we started in January 2020 prior to the official creation of Maximizing Hope. We have given 60 baskets in 2020, and 75 in 2021 with an additional fundraiser launching at the end of October 2021 to create more baskets in 2021 as the census has increased in the NICU. We provide services to the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital NICU at Atrium Cabarrus in Concord, NC. Our goal is to expand to additional area NICUs as our nonprofit grows.

We just completed a fundraiser in September to create NICU Nursing Mom kits for each bedside. We provided Boppy pillows, covers, muslin blankets, flannel blankets, fleece blankets, footstools and soft tissues for each of the 20 beds in the unit. We also provided funding for the unit to buy an additional hospital grade pump for the moms to use bedside.