From feelings of hopelessness and isolation to giving of dedication and time to those in need, Zachary’s Mission helps to connect and comfort families in the Pittsburgh area. While the child is the first priority in meeting special medical needs, everyday, functional duties take a backseat in the crazy ride of getting the help your medically fragile child needs. Bills pile up as daily expenses rise, and you and your family can’t seem to find any avenues of social contact outside of nurse and doctor visits, while running errands seem impossible. Who helps you?
Zachary’s Mission is here to help, connect and remind families that the organization understands what each family experiences, wants to bring awareness and help families all the way through the long hospital stays. Through its layered, 3 part program, Zachary’s Mission understands the struggles during long hospital stays by providing its Zack Pack Program, Sharing Heart Fund and Baby’s First Program.
Showing support and togetherness is a basic human connection to one another. Often times, it is the best medicine. The Sharing Heart Fund offers solutions to meeting basic needs and daily responsibilities so that the family focus does not spinout or stress everyone involved. Patricia Vince, Executive Director, says, “The cost to live in the hospital is hard to understand, from going back and forth between home and the hospital, paying utility bills and keeping up with the regular duties of life, it seems like your head spins. Zachary’s Mission aims to take a little off each family’s plate through the Sharing Heart Fund.” The Sharing Heart Fund accomplishes the needs of the daily rituals of survival while lowering the chaos of unneeded stress and distraught by showing families they are not alone. Some incentives include helping to pay utility bills, providing parking, gas and food vouchers, and giving Zack Packs, book bags filled with basic necessities and toiletries for your child. There is more than one way to give back, connect and come together. Each family has its own unique challenges. Zachary’s Mission aims to provide custom solutions.
In addition, Baby’s First Program allows families to celebrate and embrace the beginnings of a baby’s interactions within the world. The goal of Zachary’s Mission Baby’s First Program is to nurture the emotional well-being of families with medically fragile children by giving them the opportunity to celebrate holiday milestones and preserve those special moments while in the hospital. Due to the extensive, rare difficulties families face during each hospital stay, celebrating the special holiday milestones seem unrealistic. Zachary’s Mission enhances the possibilities of those realities and provides Baby’s First gifts. This can include books to read to your child, baby boy’s hats, baby girls’ headbands & tutus, baby legwarmers, bibs and a special note in celebration of each milestone. These items help parents to connect with their fragile baby in a completely different way. Zachary’s Mission understands the dire circumstances each family encounters, but helping to celebrate the small achievements and silver lining memories can be the best support system.
During Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month in February, Zachary’s Mission fills the air with more love and support, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Going strong for 5 years and counting, the Baby’s First Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot rounds up 15 photographers for a heartwarming, intimate photo shoot to capture life’s precious moments of each medically fragile child. Photographers give a day that provides each family a lifetime of photo keepsakes during the trials of long hospital stays.
Each of these three core programs has a special role in upholding the values and operations of Zachary’s Mission. Helping the families of each medical fragile child makes a world of positive impact and perspective of the challenges for long hospital stays. Patricia Vince says, “After my family’s personal experience, we wanted to make this organization bigger than my son, Zach. We want to raise awareness and provide hopeful solutions that bring families closer in a desperate time of need.” Zachary’s Mission aims to connect with families and provide solutions to each of the specialized needs of every child. Through the long hospital stays, Zachary’s Mission is here to stay with you.