My name is Katherine Haver. Two summers ago I received the wonderful opportunity to go on a mission trip with my mom to the Dominican Republic with the Hispaniola Medical Charity. It was a medical mission trip and we went to a small city on the northern coast named Puerto Plata. We worked at a small public hospital.
I learned many things. I learned that hospitals here in the United States have very different standards than those in countries like the Dominican Republic. The conditions there were overwhelmingly unsanitary, the operating room was the only place with air conditoning, and things like electricity or food or even linens were rarely available.
What broke my heart the most were the babies. As we were working in the labor and delivery area of the hospital, I saw pregnant mothers laying on beds awaiting the delivery of their babies, sweating, and sometimes crying in pain, and the occasional mosquito net sheltered them. When the babies were born, they were dressed in one little baby outfit, brought by the family. After this, they were given to the mothers and basically told to leave. These condidtions were not at the fault of anyone in the hospital. The workers there were aware that the conditions were bad, they simply didn't have enough money or resources to fix it. I left my mission trip experience wanting to find a way to help these people, even if my contribution was small.
I noticed that the mothers went home with little advice, educational information, or supplies to help them during the newborn period. I decided this problem was something that I could do something about.
My plan was to create "Baby Bundles" for newborn babies and their mothers. Each bundle will contain newborn supplies and basic information in Spanish with information on neonatal fevers, breast feeding, care of the umbilical cord, etc... The kit will contain diapers, baby wash, petroleum jelly, a baby thermometer, baby socks and washcloths. I have priced the items and each kit will cost approximately $15 to make.
My mother and I went again this past summer and we took the kits with us to distribute to the mothers of newborn babies before their discharge. My goal is to bring 100 bundles on every mission trip in the years to come, but I can not do that without your help. Donations of any kind are wonderful and needed, extra donations will go towards next year, and the year after that. The next mission trip will most likely be this year in August, and I have decided to start making extras for stateside emergencies and/or natural disasters and there are people in need in the U.S. The struggling families of hurricane Harvey inspired me to keep some with me.
Thank you so much!