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While we made a conscious decision to start our family, nothing fully prepares you for the reality of when your baby is born. You'd think 9+ months of growing a human inside you would do something to help you prepare for the change your world is about to take, but really it doesn't. Every security you had in life now feels uncertain when you have a new, helpless human being you are completely responsible for. Life is full of unknowns, and factors we have no control over. And when its only you, or you and another adult partner, if bad things happen, it sucks, but you'll deal. Once there is a baby in the picture, your decisions and their consequences no longer are just about you.
We are very lucky that we have family (relatively) close, and good friends that would help us out if something dire or tragic ever happened. But not everyone has that support system. And then life happens and families find themselves in circumstances they never dreamed of, and parents are faced with the horrible nightmare of not being able to put a roof over their child's head. Fortunately there are programs out there that try to help.
Huggies, the diaper brand, has launched a "Spread the Love" campaign, using social media and the ever-favorite selfie to encourage people to nominate a community program that could benefit from a $2,000 donation from them. Just upload a selfie of you and your little one to Instagram or Twitter, tag it with #UltraHug, and nominate your project of choice. It can be a fundraiser for a specific event or effort, a non-profit, a school, a community park, playground or rec center, etc.
I'm nominating Family Promise of Orange County. This is a program that is designed to help those families that life has seriously challenged, to get back on their feet. They believe that no child should have to sleep in a car or under a bridge (I couldn't agree more), and that every family deserves a chance to be whole and have a roof over their head. Sometimes it takes a community to provide for a child; Family Promise is the community doing just that. I can't think of a better way to spread the love than helping families in need. If my family found itself in hopeless circumstances, I would be eternally grateful for a program like this one.
I know there are so many worthy projects and causes out there that could benefit from a little extra cash - take a minute to capture a moment with your little one, and nominate a worthy cause. Don't forget the tag: #UltraHug.