The Third annual Norfolk Big Give Event is happening May 22. The event lasts 24 hours and is an opportunity for people across the community to donate to charities across the region.
This year, the Faith Regional Health Services foundation has paired up with a team of local mothers to make a difference by trying to save newborn babies lives.
Melissa Ann West and Allison Ueker started the Briggs and Barrett Project after both losing a son, Briggs West and Barrett Uecker, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. The two mothers may have met under tragic circumstances, but formed an instant connection.
“I first met her at Briggs’ visitation,” Uecker said while fighting back tears. “and it was instantly like we knew each other forever. It was like a God sent sisterhood.”
From that moment on the two knew they had a new mission in life.
“We wanted to provide peace of mind, in some ways to other families,” West said. “Especially so other families didn’t have to go through what we went through.”
The two quickly formed a partnership with Faith Regional to give new parents tools to try and help prevent SIDS and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome or SUIDS.
“We have partnered with Faith Regional Health Services to provide Halo Sleep Sacks and the Sleep Baby Safe and Snug book to every new baby born at Faith,” Uecker said.
That means every parent leaving the hospital with a newborn will also be leaving with a book to educate them on how to prevent SIDS and SUIDS in addition to receiving a Sleep Sack that will help keep the baby from being in a position that may induce either syndrome.
Jake Claussen the Executive director of the Faith Regional Health services foundation encourages donations as a little bit goes a long way.
“A $10 donation to the Briggs and Barrett Project provides the Sleep Sack and the safe sleep habits book,” Claussen explained. “So it really is a pretty big impact for a relatively small donation.”
And he feels that the two women spearheading the attack couldn’t be serving a more noble cause.
“To do things for other children in memory of their sons is inspirational,” Claussen said. “It really makes (Faith Regional) excited to be a part of it.”
All donations to Faith Regional during the Norfolk Big Give Event will be given to the Briggs and Barrett Project.