Monday, November 9, 2015

Anchored Hope Project - We need you to make this work

On May 4th, 2015, our lives were forever changed by the early arrival of our 4th child and only son, Anchor Joel. Born at 26 weeks (3 1/2 months early) at 1 lb 15 oz, we knew our journey home was going to be a long, hard one. But one thing we never lost was HOPE. Every minute, hour and day were overwhelming and isolating. 

While we were there, we knew we needed to connect to other families who had or were in the NICU but didn't know who or how. That's where the idea of Anchored Hope came from... to create a community of families who understand the exhaustion and joy that come from meeting their bundles of joy way too early. We have started a 
 page to connect with these families but we also want to give support in a physical way too. That's where the idea of 'Hope baskets' came... and 
​the nudge from above is 
something we simply cannot ignore. There were so many things I wish I had as soon as Anchor was born but because of his unexpected delivery, we were not prepared or able to even think straight for a couple of weeks.

In the Hope baskets, we would like to include the following....

Calendar/journal - I knew writing down our thoughts and feelings were important but I simply felt overwhelmed by the amount of information we were given every 6 hours when our baby was assessed. By having a journal, I was able to record everything about Anchor but also our prayers and praises that day. This journal and calendar will be a treasure forever that we'll be able to share with our son someday.

Blanket - Although the hospital provides them for you, it made me feel like I was able to have a say in his comfort
​ w
hen we asked to use our own blanket that was new and so soft for his delicate little body. Since these precious ones are so very tiny and unable to wear clothing for weeks or even months, having a soft blanket really makes it feel like you're able to 'dress up' your baby even though it's only 
​covering the mattress your preemie sleeps on

Grow Buddy - If there is ONE thing I regret about our time in the NICU with Anchor Joel, it is that we didn't take his weekly photo with a stuffed animal to record his growth. Scentsy has the sweetest, softest stuffed animals called buddies that would be perfect for a 'grow buddy.' They would be the perfect toy to grow up with and look back to see how big the child is now compared to how tiny they were then. Also, with the buddy, a vanilla scent pak because the smell of vanilla is so calming to the parents and would be a comforting scent memory from the time in the NICU (as opposed to the smell of hand sanitizer!) One of our doctors also told us that the scent of vanilla, helps prevent apnea spells in infants.... so vanilla it is!

Baby Name on Banner - Our sweet friend handmade a precious banner with Anchors name on it 
 we hung it in his room. Spending eighty four days in the NICU, his private room really was his first nursery. Personalizing our space really made the room feel more cozy
​ and special​
. All the nurses and doctors, therapists and even janitors, loved hanging out in Anchors room. One little banner hanging from our babies isolette, lifted the spirits of not only us, his parents, but the spirits of anyone who walked into his room.
​ We want that same comfort for other NICU families too.​

Book - Sometimes you just want to do
​ the 'normal' thing and read your precious little one a book. We were given two books that are now memorized and hold a special place in our hearts. These could also help aid in the comfort of a preemie baby's sibling that is able to come visit.

Extras - Spending hours a day, every day of the week, for weeks on end, at the hospital, it's vital to have quarters in your pocket, gift cards to local restaurants, coffee cards and other cards/money on hand for when you need food, drink or a date with your spouse.

Mini Photo Sessions - Our dear and talented friend is a photographer who has volunteered her services to take babies first photos for these families. What a perfect and sentimental finish to our baskets that we pray breathe hope into families whose world has been forever changed. 

In order to make all of this happen, we need your help; it's bigger than we can do on our own. This project has been weighing on our hearts for some time, and it's our prayer that you will help make this a reality for our extended stay, NICU families here in Missoula Montana. It's our goal to have the first 24 Hope baskets ready to be delivered by November 17th: World Prematurity Day (Wear your purple! We will be!). With your help, we can make this our goal ​delivery day! 

​Thanks so much for continuing to pray for our growing boy, praying for our Anchored Hope baskets and giving if you are able. 

3 ways to give: 

1. Donate money here at our YouCaring. link or simply send your donation to on PayPal. Please ​use the 'send money to family and friends' option so we can avoid processing fees on PayPal. If you can give $5, $10 or even $20 each month, your continuous giving will make this project thrive for months and hopefully years to come. 

​2. If you'd rather donate goodies for the basket, we have made an Amazon Wish List specific for our Hope baskets. Click this link,, and please send the following items to 11294 Stella Blue Dr, Lolo MT 59847. 

​3. Whether you are a Scentsy consultant or are a loyal customer to a consultant, please send a buddy of your choice with a Simply Vanilla scent pak to 11294 Stella Blue Dr, Lolo MT 59847. You can also order online at and choose the BUDDIES FOR BABIES party or click this link, to order your buddy. All benefits and commissions from this party sale will go toward more buddies for the premature babies at the hospital Anchor was born, well cared for and loved. 

​Hope baskets are not a one time giving. It's our dream to send a dozen baskets to our local neonatal intensive care unit ​every month. This will take a village to complete... we need you. 

​Thanks for considering and please let us know if you have any questions at all.​


  1. I am speechless. Your faith in God and your determination throughout this entire process has been an inspiration to more people than you will ever know. God has BIG plans for your life, there is no doubt! Thank you for your steadfast faith, your honesty and your determination to show the world just how GREAT our God is in the midst of one of the biggest trials you have ever faced. Count me in Jari Spry! May God bless your entire family for years to come!!

  2. This is such a beautiful idea I wish it had been around when my daughter was in the nicu. She was born at 27 weeks and she weighed 2 pounds 1 ounce. We spent three months in total at community hospital with our daughter and the comfort these baskets and ideas would have brought is incredible. This is inspiring.

  3. This is such a beautiful idea I wish it had been around when my daughter was in the nicu. She was born at 27 weeks and she weighed 2 pounds 1 ounce. We spent three months in total at community hospital with our daughter and the comfort these baskets and ideas would have brought is incredible. This is inspiring.