As has become a tradition during the holiday season, Sword and Staff will be matching up Xena fans who want to buy gifts for needy children, who without some outside help might otherwise go without gifts or just something special for the holiday season. This year we will be lending support and sending gifts to at-risk infants and children and I have contacted three organizations who do wonderful work to help seriously ill or needy children. Those groups are Caring for Babies with AIDS, My House, and Nurses for Newborns.
Caring for Babies with AIDS is located in Los Angeles, California, and offers a safe and stable family environment through transitional housing for HIV/AIDS infected children, as well as case management and psychosocial support services for HIV affected families in the community. Caring for Babies with AIDS promotes public education on issues which impacted HIV affected families. In addition, they run a residential program dedicated exclusively to the care of indigent and/or homeless infants and children infected or affected by HIV. For more information on Caring for Babies with AIDS, please visit their website at http://www.caring4babieswithaids.org/
My House is located in Atlanta, Georgia. My House is a home where medically fragile, unwanted babies can receive round the clock care and unconditional love until a permanent home can be found for them. My House's foremost objective is caring for children who have special medical problems and do not have a family to provide that care. At My House, volunteers and full-time staff members devote time and love towards the well being of these homeless infants, and they assure that all of the medical, developmental,and emotional needs of the children are met round-the-clock by staff and volunteers from the community. You can visit their website at http://www.myhouseweb.org/
Nurses for Newborns Foundation, located in St. Louis, Missouri, sends experienced pediatric nurses into homes to teach parents how to care for their infants and how to recognize signs of illness. Most of the parents are single mothers who are struggling and need help and support to assure that their infants are well fed and that they have items necessary for the daily care of infants who otherwise would be at risk for serious medical problems, neglect, or even death. Through their home visits and mentoring programs, Nurses For Newborns will serve 2,500 families this year, many of whom struggle to choose between diapers and dinner. For additioal information about the work being done by Nurses for Newborns, please feel free to viist their website at www.nursesfornewborns.org
Each of these organizations serves young children, and the types of items that would be needed are sleepers, snow suits, blankets, children's books, diapers, wipes, baby food and formula, undershirts, stretch suits, bottles, strollers, crib sheets, toys, and just about anything necessary to the care and well-being of infants and todlers. If you would like to participate by buying a gift, please drop me a note at MistNY@aol.com and put the words HOLIDAY GIFT in the subject line. I'm in the process of preparing a list of items requested by each group, and I will match donors up to the requests as soon as I have all the information from the organizations. If you have a preference for a particular group, please let me know and I will be sure to let you know what they are requesting. If you would like to buy a particular item or type of item, just let me know that as well, and I will match you up with one of the organizations requesting that kind of assistance. If you prefer to simply write a check to one of the organizations, that would be terrific as well. You can make it payable to one of the three groups above (please DO NOT make it payable to Sword and Staff), and send it off to Sword and Staff, P.O. Box 224, Floral Park, NY 11002, and I will be sure that it gets to the appropriate organization.
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