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.
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.
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.
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.”
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:
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!
To schedule a donation pickup or get involved further, reach out via email at email@example.com or call Ashley at (330) 280-3881.
- Houston’s Lift Off Website
- Houston’s Lift Off Facebook
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Make a Donation–Houston’s Lift Off PayPal
- Canton Repository Story