A baby’s first birthday is such an incredible milestone. It is a celebration of having made it through, what is undoubtedly the most trying year as a parent. Endless middle of the night feedings are coming to an end, and being replaced by the anticipation of first words, first steps, and a true grasp of the unique personality this little one that you have created and nurtured possesses.
We see this milestone birthday as something much more significant. We know that celebrating their first birthday makes that baby a survivor of SIDS. The majority of SIDS deaths occur within first six months of life. By the time a baby reaches one year of age, the risk of loss is gone. We, at Cribs for Kids, are dedicated to making sure that every family has the opportunity to celebrate this momentous occasion.
In 2015, with the help of my daughter Jennifer, I wrote Five Ladies and a Forklift, the story of how my incredible staff and I came to develop Cribs for Kids. This story of passion, drive, and perseverance tells of how five women turned a non-profit centered on SIDS education, research, and bereavement counseling into an organization that is proactively saving infant’s lives.
Dedicating your life’s work to a non-profit mission takes a certain type of person. Specifically, a person with a deep desire to affect change in this world and a stubborn belief that they absolutely can! We, non-profit warriors, are fiercely dedicated to moving mountains but are often given a gardening spade to do the work with. You see, meaningful change takes time, elbow grease, and then more time. I like to think that we traded in that gardening spade for a forklift when we developed Cribs for Kids in 1998.
Our mission became clearly defined and we began to quickly move our mountain. Realizing that many of the tragic cases of SIDS were occurring because babies were not sleeping in a safe environment, we made it our mission to physically provide families with a crib that their newest members can call their own, and to educate as many families and caregivers as possible on the concept and fundamentals of safe sleep. As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we are proud to be partnered with over 950 organizations nationally that are helping us to further this mission.
I am often asked about writing a sequel to Five Ladies and a Forklift. Readers have learned of our history; the struggles and the triumphs, and are curious as to what happens next. We have decided to develop this blog so that we can continue to share our story, and bring you along with us on this journey, in real time. We are excited to keep you updated on upcoming events, parenthood tips and trends, and the accomplishments of our incredible partners, volunteers, Safe Sleep Ambassadors, and dedicated staff.
Interested in helping? You can do your part to help move this mountain by becoming a Safe Sleep Ambassador. Learn more about ways to assure every baby in your life is sleeping safer and will celebrate their first birthday as a survivor.