Little Giraffe Foundation Names 2021 NICU Support Grant Recipients

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The nonprofit donates a total of $15,000 in grant money to 15 medical institutions and non-profit organizations to support NICU patients and their families

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“From support for parents traveling to and from the NICU to innovative technology that helps premature babies prosper, each of these grant recipients is fulfilling the needs and providing comfort to families in the NICU so that they can focus on the health of their babies."

Little Giraffe Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to funding neonatal research and supporting families and premature babies in the NICU, announced today the 15 recipients of the foundation’s 2021 NICU Support Grants.

“The families that the Little Giraffe Foundation supports have gone through unprecedented struggles in the past 18 months—dealing with stricter precautions, less in-person family support and less contact with their infants in the NICU, all due to the pandemic. That’s why the Little Giraffe Foundation board of directors is pleased to fund 15 NICU support grants to help these parents and families,” said Amanda Santoro, co-founder and president of the Little Giraffe Foundation. “These grant recipients have created programs uniquely suited to support their NICU residents and we look forward to seeing the positive results of each project in 2022.”

This year’s Little Giraffe Foundation’s NICU Support Grant recipients are as follows:

  • Baptist Health Foundation, Madisonville, Kentucky — to receive $1,000 to purchase a glider chair that will allow mothers to comfortably breastfeed their babies in the NICU.
  • Friends of Mercy Foundation, Bakersfield, California — to receive $1,000 to support the NICView project which will allow parents and families to see their baby in the NICU via a secure feed from their mobile device.
  • Caiden’s Hope Foundation, The Woodlands, Texas — to receive $1,000 to provide gas cards, food, lodging and transportation to NICU parents nationwide.
  • University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland — to receive $947 to provide books to NICU families to facilitate parents reading to their babies.
  • Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff, Arizona — to receive $1,000 to provide swaddle sacks to special care nursery parents at the time of discharge.
  • The Superhero Project, Grafton, Wisconsin — to receive $1,000 to support the “Lullabies of Love” program that gives ​​NICU parents at Reston Hospital Center in Reston, Virginia digital voice recorders and books that they can use to create recordings of themselves talking, reading books and singing lullabies that can then be played to their babies when they are away.
  • Abington Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — to receive $1,000 for car seats for preemies and breast pumps that will help families have a safe transition from the NICU to home.
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin, Texas — to receive $1,000 for car seats to transport NICU graduates home safely.
  • Edward Hospital, Naperville, Illinois — to receive $1,000 for the ‘Beads of Courage Program,’ which provides NICU patients and families with a strand of beads to help tell their story of courage during their NICU stay.
  • The Nest Postpartum Support, Champaign, Illinois — to receive $1,000 to purchase fresh meals every week to give to the families with babies in the NICU at Carle Hospital in Champaign, Illinois.
  • University of Virginia Children's Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia — to receive $1,000 for heartbeat bears for memory-making that will be given to families who have lost a child in the NICU.
  • St. Luke’s University Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — to receive $1,000 to provide meal assistance to NICU families in need.
  • University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colorado — to receive $1,000 to purchase polaroid cameras, cases and film, so caregivers can have physical photos of themselves engaging in activities with their child in the NICU.
  • Franciscan Health Olympia Fields, Olympia Fields, Illinois — to receive $1,000 to purchase Pack ‘n Plays for families with infants who are graduating from the NICU.
  • Babybuns for Life Network, Petersburg, Virginia — to receive $1,000 to purchase blessing bags and snacks for the parents’ lounge for NICU families at several hospitals in Virginia.

“From support for parents traveling to and from the NICU to innovative technology that helps premature babies prosper, each of these grant recipients is fulfilling the needs and providing comfort to families in the NICU so that they can focus on the health of their babies,” said Mike Santoro, co-founder of the Little Giraffe Foundation. “We are proud to offer these 15 support grants so that each institution can continue implementing these valuable programs. The entire Little Giraffe Foundation community would like to thank our monetary donors and volunteers that make this funding possible. Each person who donated this past year supported the well-being of babies in the NICU and their families.”

To learn more about the Little Giraffe Foundation and its efforts to aid in NICU patient and family support, as well as neonatal medical research, please visit: and follow the organization’s news on Facebook at:

About the Little Giraffe Foundation:
The Little Giraffe Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Chicago, dedicated to supporting parents and patients of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Since 2011, the foundation has delivered nearly 22,000 gift bags to an array of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), awarded over 100 support grants to dozens of hospitals across the country, and funded over $250,000 in medical research.

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Amanda Santoro
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