Hello! That's me in the photo with three of my grandchildren. Scarlett, Jackson, and Adriana. They keep me young. This is how I got involved with The New York Milk Bank: In December of 2014, my friend Julie asked me to join the board of The New York Milk Bank. I had recently left my position as a medical assistant at a family practice to finish my graduate degree in Creative Writing and I found I had a lot of time on my hands. So I said yes. Afterall, I had breastfed all four of my children, I was a La Leche League Leader for six years, and I led a support group for women in Rockalnd County, NY for women who wanted to tell ther birth story. Helping to open a milk bank in New York State after one out-of-state milk bank after another changed their mind about supplying milk to our state's littlest babies was a no brainer. I worked alongside a neonatologist, two pediatrician, and a nurse practioner, dedicated women who care deeply about the health of women and infants. Initially, I manned tables at Perinatal and Lactation Conferences and managed the milk bank's social media. Paid bills and wrote thank you letters. Then we set up a website. We didn't even have a milk processing center yet we were receiving 5-7 calls a week from New York women who wanted information on how and where to donate their milk. Our sister milk bank in Columbus, Ohio Health Mother's Milk Bank trained me to prescreen potential milk donors. I converted a bedroom to a home office where I spoke with countless women, women from all over New York State, women from every ethnic background and religious persuasion. They all had one thing in common. They wanted to help infants survive and thrive. In the spring of 2016, I came off the board to manage the opening of the milk bank and finally, to running its daily operation. We petitioned and lobbied for passage of Senate Bill S6583B/Assembly Bill A9353C. A bill we renamed The Nickolas Bill in memory of Nickolas Bell, a preemie who died after receiving formula when his family couldn't afford donor milk. A bill that was languishing in the Senate until New Yorkers responded and over 15,000 of them signed our petition. We partnered with The New York State Breastfeeding Coalition and The New York City Breastfeeding Council. In July we started processing milk and distributing it to local hospitals. We hired staff and interns. It wasn't long before pediatricians began writing prescriptions for donor milk for infants of women who have trouble establishing a full milk supply. We started receiving 5-7 calls a day. All this happened becasue of people like you. People who supported our efforts to open a community milkbank. We are here because of you. Now we are counting on your financial support. With your help we can move on to the next step; a larger space, more freezers and a pastuerizer that can process three times the amount of milk than the one we currently have. What does this mean? More milk for more babies in less time. Your tax deductible donation of $45 will feed a micro-preemie for the first week of life and $150 will feed an infant for each week thereafter. $1,000 will help purchase new equipment and for that amount we will post your name on a plaque in the milk bank. Please help us. Join our team. Pledge and share. Thank you!
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