Motherhood transformed me. I was going to return to work after my maternity leave with my first daughter. Instead I was captivated by the reality that she just gave me my only unique job title that I will have in my life — mother. I was determined to do that the best way I knew how. Knowing that I could not go back to the way I worked before baby, I decided to try and change my career, which led me to become a social entrepreneur.
Frustrated at the products that we found essential during those early mothering days, I became an entrepreneur to bring the best version of those essentials to future parents and their families. And the best version of a company that left behind a better footprint than what we started with by contributing 10 percent of our proceeds to help rescued human trafficking victims stay rescued. goumikids was born.
It saddened me to see our world grow increasingly divided and more fearful.
Technology gave us unprecedented global reach yet clustered us ever more tightly to voices that mirror our own. When given unparalleled means to share, we grew more apt to keep our deepest dreams to ourselves instead of sharing them loud and proud with the world that needs to hear and be inspired by them.
The truth is, we all have something unique to contribute to our world.
Our children were at risk of forgetting the power of our diversity and what we can achieve when we recognize our similarities and collectively dream bigger dreams because of it. I wanted my daughters to know that we each have something beautiful and UNIQUE to contribute. And we NEED each other’s dreams to make our world the beautiful mosaic that is our shared humanity.
And there were some of us that needed more help to thrive.
Within a couple of years of starting goumikids, we were approached by an amazing nurse, Adrienne, at Milton Hershey Medical, because she believed our mitts could help prevent a big issue in the NICU — unplanned extubations (UE). Preemie babies are often tubed to machines to help them thrive and graduate safely out of the NICU. But they have poor motor control and can often pull those necessary tubes off — potentially causing respiratory and neurological implications, and even death. Imagine our delight when we realized that our ideally sized preemie mitts were able to reduce UEs by 84 percent!
The reality is that more and more preemie babies are born each year and there are many families who cannot afford the debilitating costs of a NICU stay.
The impact of our small and mighty preemie mitts really hit home for me within two years, when my own nephew came into the world with breathing challenges that rendered him into the NICU for the next four weeks. I experienced first-hand the hard switch from the wonder you feel when a new little one is coming to the shock, anxiety, and guilt that fell on my brother and my sister-in-law during that season. In the almost-daily visits to the NICU to check on, read to, and pray over my nephew, I saw the direct impact that something so small, like our preemie mitts, could have. They tangibly help babies thrive more seamlessly, allow the nursing team to focus on the most important parts of baby care, and give back some peace of mind to the parents who are already going through a battery of emotions and decisions for their little one.
But the road to helping all these preemie babes fast enough seemed daunting. And then we had an idea! Take our desire to connect humanity through big dreams and use that to get more preemie mitts to more NICU units as quickly as possible.
We can dream big AND help the most vulnerable among us in one small act!
“We all start the same” and “Dream big” are messages we wholeheartedly believe in as we nurture the next generation. Our wish for our babies is to recognize themselves in everyone they meet and that they dare to dream their biggest dreams for themselves, our communities, and our world.
We believe when dreams are spoken out loud, and put out there outside of us, they can take a life of their own and become the reality they were meant to be.
Join us in the effort to change our world, one mitten at a time!
We’re inviting you to share your big dreams — for your children, for yourself, for your community, for our world. And through it, realize that we are more connected than we thought, that inspiration was in our midst all along and speaking out loud has a way of manifesting our dreams to reality!
For every dream shared on social media, goumi will give one pair of preemie mitts, in partnership with the March of Dimes, to our most needful little citizens in NICUs in the US. Click this link to get on the details on how to share and give.
Together, we can cultivate inspiration and hope for our world while helping the smallest among us thrive.
Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.