Houston’s Lift Off Seeks Donations to Support NICU Families in Canton

Houston’s Lift Off Seeks Donations to Support NICU Families in Canton–Ashley McDonald, founder of Houston’s Lift Off, has an inspiring story to share of how her son, Houston, prompted her to start a non-profit organization to help other NICU families with their struggles. Learn more about her inspiring story here on Newsymom!

Ashley McDonald has gone through the worst thing a mother could face–the loss of her child. Houston, born prematurely at 25 weeks of pregnancy, came into this world on August 14, 2015 at Aultman Hospital, weighing a mere 1 pound, 3 ounces. His premature birth started a series of trials and tribulations that Ashley pushed through as she prayed, cried, and begged for her son to make it through his time at the NICU so he could come home.

These pictures are some of the memories Ashley has with Houston while he was being cared for in the NICU.
Ashley’s Life During Houston’s Hospitalization

Ashley basically lived at the hospital from August to January. She wasn’t able to work as she spent everyday singing, encouraging, and reading to her son, praying he would pull through.

Throughout the ordeal, Ashley didn’t have financial support to pay her bills, food for her and her daughter to eat, transportation to get to the hospital, and lodging accommodations close to where her son was at Aultman.

Ashley would spend long days by Houston’s side, waiting for updates from nurses and doctors as they made their rounds.

When Aultman did all they could do, they encouraged Ashley to have Houston transported to Akron Children’s Hospital, where the technology and medical advances were better for babies. While Houston was at Akron Children’s, Ashley was able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. This allowed her to be less stressed as she had a place close by to rest her head for the night.

Unfortunately, despite all that doctors could do and the countless days and nights of Ashley praying for a positive outcome, Houston passed away on January 5, 2016 after four and a half months in the NICU.

Houston’s Lift Off regularly supports families at Aultman Hospital (pictured above) to allow them to focus on the wellness of their babies.
Starting Houston’s Lift Off

An inspiring force to be reckoned with, Ashley has turned her loss into the fuel for her non-profit organization, Houston’s Lift Off. Her goal is to ease the burden experienced by Canton NICU families by providing assistance with things they need while their babies are in the NICU. This includes food, toys, books, transportation, money, lodging, and much more. 

So far, Houston’s Lift Off has helped close to 300 families in the last year.

“Our ultimate goal is to have a form of a Ronald McDonald house here in Canton,” says Ashley. “Families need somewhere close to stay while their babies are in the NICU.”

One of the most appreciated gifts you can give to anyone in the NICU: coffee. It eases the late nights for both families and staff.
Get Involved with Houston’s Lift Off

Want to get involved? There are so many ways to get involved with Houston’s Lift Off!

To Donate Cash:


Venmo: @houstonsliftoff

Cash App: $houstonsliftoff

To Donate Items:

Houston’s Lift Off searches for the following items for their families:

  • Gas gift cards
  • Food gift cards (grocery and restaurants)
  • Toys, books, and brand new* baby clothes
  • Hygiene items (shampoo, deodorant, etc.)
  • Buying coffee, food, or supplies for the entire NICU floor

*Due to the COVID pandemic and associated complications, baby clothes must be brand new!

Donate catering to the entire NICU floor! Families and staff are so grateful to have one less worry so they can focus on baby’s health and wellness.

To schedule a donation pickup or get involved further, reach out via email at houstonsliftoff@yahoo.com or call Ashley at (330) 280-3881.

Quick Links:

Melissa Klatt


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